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Police seek help as search for missing Minn. teen expands, $1,000 reward offered for safe return

Jasmine Block has been missing since Tuesday, Aug. 8. (Contributed)1 / 3
These flyers have been distributed around town. Beth Leipholtz / Forum News Service2 / 3
Family and friends gather Thursday, Aug. 10, before setting out to search for Jasmine Block, a missing 15-year-old. Beth Leipholtz / Forum News Service3 / 3

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Police are seeking the public’s help to find people seen with a 15-year-old Alexandria girl before she went missing from her home Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Jasmine Block was last seen about 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, on the Central Lakes Trail near a Burger King and Super America, police said in a news release.

According to witnesses, Block was with two other teenagers and a man who appeared to be in his 30s and was balding or had closely shaven hair. They were all reported to have been riding bikes and it is believed the man and teens do not live in Alexandria.

Police ask that anyone who spent time with Jasmine in the days leading up to her disappearance to contact them.

“We have many gaps in our timeline and are asking that if you had spent any time with Jasmine or seen her in the in two days prior to her disappearance that you contact us so we can account for Jasmine’s whereabouts,” the release said.

A search is being planned by the missing girl’s family and friends starting at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Big Ole Central Park. A candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at New Life Christian Church in Alexandria. An account for donations to help the search effort has been set up at MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union in Alexandria.

Further, a $1,000 reward is being offered for Block’s safe return home.

“I would like to thank the community and law enforcement for for all the support and help,” said Sarah Block, Jasmine’s mother. “I will not stop until Jasmine is home safe.”

On Monday, Aug. 14, law enforcement officials canvassed an entire residential area, including the mobile home park where Block lives, in hopes of finding the girl.

“We searched the entire neighborhood, went to every residence, searched underneath and around all the trailers there just to make sure,” said Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels. “We’re following leads that aren’t panning out so far and we will continue to do so.”

Late last week, the search was expanded to include a fly-over by a plane from the Minnesota State Patrol.

On Friday, Aug. 11, members of the Alexandria Fire Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office joined the Alexandria police for a foot search of a gravel pit area near her home.

Alexandria Police Capt. Scott Kent said there was no specific reason to believe Block had gone to the gravel pit area, but its proximity to her home and evidence that the area has been visited by others made it a logical place to search.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office also conducted a water search on Aug. 11 at a channel between Lake Cowdry and Lake Darling along the Central Lakes Trail.

Family and friends of Jasmine organized searches of areas where Jasmine may have gone. Those included Lake Burgen and Viking Speedway, both spots where Jasmine’s late father used to take her. The Central Lakes Trail has also been searched extensively.

According to Wyffels, no detail is too small in a case with so little information, like this one.

“Just don’t ignore anything is the big trick,” he said. “Make sure that even though it may seem small or trivial, follow it through anyway. And you just document everything you’re doing so you’re not running yourself in circles. You keep a flowchart of everything that’s going on and involve multiple people.”

In missing person cases, leads can sometimes trickle off as time passes, which Wyffels says can make it even more difficult to work the case.

“If we run out of all leads and no one calls and there’s nothing to go on, those are very frustrating things,” Wyffels said. “But the point is the door to information is always open. We’ll continue to search, we’ll continue to listen, we’ll continue to pay attention.”

Additional information

Jasmine is described as white with a tan complexion, 5-foot-1, 110 lbs, with brown curly hair. According to fliers, she has a recent bruise near the right side of her ribcage, scars on her left arm, a scar on her left ankle and a mole on her left cheek.

She was last seen wearing black and red pajama pants and a top.

Jasmine’s cell phone was left behind, according to her mother.

Anyone who knows of Jasmine’s whereabouts or sees her is asked to call the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631 or call 911.

Other agencies involved include the FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Minnesota Department of Corrections.