A teenage girl who had been kidnapped for nearly a month escaped this week by swimming across a lake.
Jasmine Block, 15, was reportedly abducted on Aug. 8, 2017, by Thomas Barker, 32, who convinced her to get into his car, police said. He then drove her to a nearby home, where he, his roommate and a friend allegedly physically and sexually assaulted her.
“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 in regard to Block.
On Tuesday, her captors left Block alone for the first time, giving her the perfect opportunity to make her escape, officials said. She reunited with friends and family after she made it across the lake and ran onto a farmer’s property for help. Police later arrested Barker, Joshua Holby, 31, and Steven Powers, 20, on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault.
“This is an unbelievable young woman,” Wyffels said of Block. “She has a lot of strength. We think a lot of her and her family. They’re all amazing people.”