(Alexandria, MN) In front of recently rescued Jasmine Block and her family, Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels handed over a reward check to the man who helped save her from her captors. Earl Melchert was the Grant County farmer who discover Jasmine as she ran to safety back on September 5th. Earlier this week Chief Wyffels met with Jasmine's mother Sarah to determine who she thought should get the $7000 reward money for help in Jasmine's safe return. She said it should go to Melchert. With that determination, Wyffels called Melchert to give him the news and congratulate him on his recent retirement (He retired last Friday). Almost before the police chief could get the words out Earl said that he could use the money now more than ever, but that it just wouldn't be right. He wanted the money to go to the Block family and so at Friday's ceremonial awarding of the reward money, the check was in Earl's hand only long enough for him to give it to Jasmine and her family. $5000 of the total reward was given by an anonymous donor, the rest was raised by the Block family.
(The following video is from the Oct. 6th reward presentation at the Alexandria Police Station.)
As soon as the ceremony was over, Jasmine and her family asked if Earl and his wife Jody would please join them for lunch. The couple gladly agreed to the gesture.
Jasmine's captors are all in prison facing multiple charges including kidnapping, criminal sexual assault and false imprisonment.