Updated: Three arrested after Alexandria teen found in Grant County
Three people were arrested in connection with the 15-year-old missing girl from Alexandria who was found Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Grant County.
Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels sent out a news release shortly after 8 p.m. stating that the police department believes releasing the identities of these people could jeopardize the investigation into the disappearance of Jasmine Block on Aug. 8.
The public is not at risk at this time, Wyffels said. One arrest was made in Grant County, and two others in Pope County, Wyffels said.
Jasmine Block was located in rural Grant County early Tuesday afternoon. She was being treated at Douglas County Hospital for minor injuries and has been reunited with her family.
“We found jasmine and she is safe. I will not be answering any messages or calls,” Jasmine’s mother, Sarah Block posted on Facebook on Tuesday. Sarah later posted a photo on her Facebook page of herself and Jasmine reunited.
The Alexandria Police Department issued a news release about 3:33 p.m. Tuesday confirming that Jasmine had been found.
Wyffels said a press conference on the case would be held Wednesday.
“We have a whole lot of pieces to put together,” Wyffels said. “We need to find out what happened. What we know right now is that we have her and she is alive.”
Law enforcement surrounded an area east of Barrett in Grant County, just across the line from Douglas County, on Tuesday afternoon.
A tow truck could be seen loading a vehicle in the area.
Pastor Kevin Taylor was with Sarah Block at Douglas County Hospital when the mother and daughter were reunited.
“She is overjoyed that her daughter is home,” said Taylor. “We are all super excited. Extremely excited.”
Taylor is the youth pastor with Living Waters Church and Youth for Christ in Alexandria. A prayer vigil for Jasmine has been scheduled at the church for Friday and will still go on as planned, but will instead be a welcome home service.
Taylor said that the plan was for the mother and daughter to just spend time together and that his hope and wish is that everyone can just leave them alone for the time being.
“If everyone can just respect them and let them be,” Taylor said. “Don’t call them or anything. Just let them be together as a family. All the details will come out. Everything will be revealed with time. Just give them time.”
Taylor also said it would be a great opportunity for parents to talk with their children about rumor mills and saying things that aren’t true.
“If you don’t know the truth, keep your mouth shut,” he said. “We need to come together as a community. We are better together as a community.”
Jasmine had been the subject of an extensive search by law enforcement officials and volunteers ever since disappearing from her home on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Flyers and signs with her face have been plastered in yards and businesses around Alexandria, and even on electronic billboards along Interstate 94.
Wyffels said the percentage of missing people who have been gone this long is low.
“Only 5 percent live. That’s all,” he said.
The Alexandria Police Department, FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Department of Corrections, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Pope County Sheriff’s Office and the Glenwood Police Department are actively working together to put the details of this situation together.
Sarah Block said she left their home on North Nokomis Avenue late on Aug. 8 and returned a short time later but Jasmine was not there.
“We realized she was nowhere to be found and that is when we called the police,” Sarah said in an interview with the Echo Press shortly after Jasmine disappeared. “It was the worst feeling ever.”
Prayer vigils had been held on her behalf, a Facebook group formed and a $7,000 reward was offered for her safe return.
Jasmine’s mother told police that when she left their mobile home that evening, Jasmine complained about having a migraine headache and was lying on the couch. She was gone when her mother returned, leaving behind her cell phone.
She was scheduled to start ninth grade at Alexandria Area High School on Tuesday.
As recently as Monday, Block had posted this on the Help Bring Jasmine Block Home Facebook page: “My girls and I are worried about jasmine wondering how she is, wondering when she will be home safe.. Our house is not the same there is a very quiet presence here.. School shopping was not the same.. It will not be the same until she is home with us.. Jasmine should be here talking to me how excited she is about starting the 9th grade in the high school and talking about her friends and everything else. It makes me so sad knowing she will not be at the bus stop waiting for the bus.. It makes me sad that her sisters will not be by her side and talking with her about all the things they do.. But I tell you this she is going to be found safe we are not going to stop looking. The love we have for jasmine I can't begin to describe.”
The search focused on the Central Lakes Trail, where she enjoyed spending time. However, she was found 20 miles away, in Grant County. An ambulance took her to Douglas County Hospital, where she was met by her mother.
The Echo Press will post more details as they become available.