Thursday 16 August 2018

Teen (15) swam across lake to escape kidnappers after being held captive for a month

Thomas Barker (32), Joshua Holby (31) and Steven Powers (20).
Thomas Barker (32), Joshua Holby (31) and Steven Powers (20).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A kidnapped teenage girl bravely swam across a lake to safety from her abductors after nearly a month in captivity.

Jasmine Block (15), from Minnesota was reunited with her family this week, local station WCCO reported.

Three men were arrested in connection to her disappearance. Police identified the suspects as Thomas Barker (32), Joshua Holby (31) and Steven Powers (20).

It is believed the youngster was abducted on August 8 when she was convinced into a car by Barker, brought to a house and repeatedly assaulted.

“Barker tied her up with zip ties and then he, his roommate, and friend over the next several weeks assaulted her and threatened her with weapons,” Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said, according to the New York Post.

Local media is reporting that the teen was left alone for the first time on Tuesday and made her escape.

There was nobody home in nearby houses so she swam across Thompson Lake to a farm.

The alarm was raised and the youngster was taken to hospital.

“This is an unbelievable young woman,” Wyffels said. “She has a lot of strength. We think a lot of her and her family. They’re all amazing people.”

Police said the three suspects remain in custody and face charges for kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault.

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