After helping to rescue a young woman who had just escaped her kidnappers, this 65-year-old man then handed over his $7,000 reward because she was “the real hero”.
Earl Melchert first saw 15-year-old Jasmine Block when he returned to his home in Alexandria, Minnesota last month in order to retrieve a diesel can that he had forgotten to grab earlier that day.
The teen had only just escaped from a nearby abandoned house after her kidnappers had gone out to eat. After knocking on the doors of several neighboring homes without any luck, Block swam across a lake and started trekking across Melchert’s field when he spotted her.
Melchert brought Block back to his home where they called the police and organized the arrest of her kidnappers.
Ever since Block first disappeared, law enforcement officials had been offering $7,000 for any information on her whereabouts. When they handed Earl the check for the reward earlier this week, however, he immediately gave it to Block.
“Today we witnessed an incredible example of kindness,” says Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels. “Earl Melchert, the man who made the call everyone was waiting for … was presented with the reward money that had been offered by the Sarah Block family and an anonymous source.”
“What no one expected was the kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl’s heart today. He believes that young lady that came running towards him that September day is the real hero and without hesitation, Earl handed the reward over to her, followed by a big hug.”
“The family needs the money,” Melchert told the New York Times. “To me, yeah, that’s a lot of money, but they need it way worse than I do.”