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Abduction suspects moved around central MN, police say; farmers asked to look for evidence

An officer patrols a house in Carlos where law enforcement believe Jasmine Block was taken after she was abducted. It is the residence of Tom Barker and Joshua Holby. (Karen Tolkkinen | Echo Press)1 / 2
Crime scene tape has been placed around this property in rural Grant County. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)2 / 2

CARLOS, Minn. — Law enforcement officials are working to retrace the steps of the three men who are suspected of abducting and assaulting 15-year-old Jasmine Block.

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said police are asking that Douglas, Grant and Pope county farmers keep an eye out for areas in cornfields that look as if they could have been driven through. It is suspected that the men drove into cornfields to hide, possibly overnight at points.

Though a timeline is still being put together, officials have said that the three men first brought Jasmine to a home in Carlos, north of Alexandria. The brown mobile home, across from a cornfield at 503 Muyres Ave., was where relatives said two of the suspects, Thomas Jay Barker and Josh Holby, lived together.

It was blocked off by crime scene tape on Wednesday, Sept. 6, as deputies searched the house and property. A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension van was parked out front.

The back door of the trailer house could be seen from the main north-south road going through town. However, many residents said they didn't recognize photos of the men who lived there.

"It's crazy," mechanic Branden Kasten said. "It's such a small, friendly town and something like this happens."

The suspects eventually brought Jasmine to a vacant house in rural Grant County, police said. Crime scene tape has been placed around that area near Barrett. The driveway to the house is approximately half a mile from where deputies blocked off the intersection of County Roads 2 and 5 when Jasmine was found Tuesday.

According to Grant County tax records, the property belongs to the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae. While typically a mortgage lender, Fannie Mae also owns and resells foreclosed properties, such as this one, which was foreclosed in 2016.

Previously, it belonged to Todd and Danielle Nelson. Before that, records indicate it was owned by Clair Nelson. states that the property is 2,296 square feet, situated on a 7.1-acre lot on Thompson Lake and was built in 1993. It also includes an outdoor pool.

Police were still not clear how the suspects in the case knew about the property, Wyffels said.

It was from this house that Jasmine fled while the suspects left to eat lunch.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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