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Kidnap of 15-year-old Jasmine Block by Thomas Barker investigated on Dead Silent

Mugshots of Thomas Barker, Joshua Holby, and Steven Powers
From left, Thomas Barker, Steven Powers, and Joshua Holby subjected teenager Jasmine Block to a horrific ordeal. Pic credit: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Dead Silent is investigating the terrifying ordeal of 15-year-old Jasmine Block, who was abducted from her home in Alexandria, Minnesota, and held captive for 29 days by three men, all of whom were known to the family.

Thomas Barker, Joshua Holby, and Steven Powers raped and assaulted Jasmine and attempted to kill her on numerous occasions before the brave teenager managed to escape her captors and raise the alarm.

On August 8, 2017, Jasmine was home alone when Barker approached her and told her he needed help with a family situation. Jasmine was friends with his son, and he told her he was having a breakdown. She agreed to help out and accompanied him to his car.

But once they reached Barker’s home, Jasmine’s terrifying ordeal began when he threatened her and restrained her with zip ties. For the next four weeks, she was regularly raped and threatened by Barker and two other men, Joshua Holby and Steven Powers.

Sick kidnappers tried to murder Jasmine Block

On several occasions, they even tried to drown her in a bathtub, and at one point, Holby stabbed her in her midsection. They also tried hanging her, but their bumbling efforts combined with Jasmine’s fighting spirit meant she managed to cling to life.

The sick kidnappers moved Jasmine several times before settling on an abandoned home in rural Grant County. They never left her alone until September 5, when all three men left her to go for food and drugs.

Seizing the opportunity, Jasmine fled the house. The first two properties she came to were empty, so she swam across a lake to reach the property of Earl Melchert.

Melchert immediately recognized Jasmine as the missing girl from Alexandria, whose image had appeared on numerous posters and on various media platforms.

As the police officers arrived at Melchert’s property, Jasmine recognized Power’s car passing by. The cops quickly arrested Powers and later apprehended Holby and Barker.

The three kidnappers eventually pleaded guilty to the charges against them. Thomas Barker was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Whereas Powers was given over 8 years and Holby got a little over 7 years.

In a lovely side note to this case, Earl Melchert was presented with $7,000 as a reward for helping the police with their inquiries; however, he immediately gifted the money to Jasmine, stating that the Block family needed it more than he did.

More from Dead Silent

Follow the links to read about more crimes highlighted on Dead Silent.

David Eatherly kidnapped Tammy Crowe at knifepoint and took her to a deserted area of Georgia, where he raped, stabbed, and choked the young woman. Incredibly, Tammy survived the ordeal and managed to crawl out of the woods to safety.

Rickey Lewis and two other men broke into the Texas home of George Newman and Connie Hilton. Newman was shot dead while his fiancee was brutally raped for over an hour.

Dead Silent airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery. 

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When... read more
Jerry Brown


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