* * * * Updated News Release * * * *
THREE MEN ARRESTED IN THE ABDUCTION AND ASSAULT OF ALEXANDRIA TEEN
Three men are under arrest and will be charged this week in the abduction of Alexandria teenager Jasmine Block. Block disappeared from her home on August 8 and since then has been the focus of an intense search by law enforcement and members of the community.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, Block was found running through a field in Grant County near Thompson Lake toward a local resident. She identified herself as Jasmine Block and asked the man to call 911. Block told responding officers that she had been abducted.
Three men are being held in the Douglas County Jail on probable cause kidnapping, false imprisonment, and assault.
• Thomas Barker, 32, of Carlos, Minn.
• Steven Powers, 20, of Mankato
• Joshua Holby, 31, of Carlos
Specific charges will be determined by the Douglas County Attorney.
According to the preliminary investigation, Thomas Barker approached Block outside of her home around 11 PM on August 8 on the pretense that he needed help with a situation. Mr. Barker was known to Block and so she offered to assist and entered Barker’s vehicle.
Barker drove Block to his Carlos residence. Once inside he restrained her with zip ties, repeatedly assaulted her and threatened her with weapons. Mr. Holby lives with Mr. Barker took part in the assaults, as did Mr. Powers, who arrived at the home about 2 weeks following the abduction. These assaults continued over the several weeks she was being held.
Late last week, the men took Block from the house to various locations including a cornfield and a foreclosed property in Grant County. On Tuesday afternoon, the three men left Block alone while they traveled to a nearby town for lunch. This was the first time in 29 days she was left alone.
Block ran for help, knocking on doors at several homes and eventually swimming across part of Thompson Lake to locate a residence where someone could help her.
This remains an ongoing investigation and many details about what happened are still to be learned. Investigators are attempting to identify the specific cornfields through which the suspects drove with Block. They are also hoping to locate Block’s shoes and pants, which were lost as she swam for help. Investigators are asking farmers in Pope, Grant and Douglas counties to check their corn fields for damage associated with vehicles driving through them, and for anglers at Thompson Lake to report any clothing located floating or on the shoreline.