MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police in Alexandria say they witnessed an incredible act of generosity Friday.

Jasmine Block, 15, was missing for 29 days when Earl Melchert found her in rural Grant County. She endured abuse and several attempts on her life before she swam across a lake to safety on Sept. 5. Melchert says he left work early that day after he forgot something at home, but found something he didn’t expect in his backyard.

Law enforcement authorities, desperate for answers, had offered a $7,000 for information that led to her return. In a Facebook post, the Alexandria Police Department said they gave Melchert that reward Friday — and he immediately gave it to Jasmine Block and her family.

“[W]ithout hesitation, Earl handed the reward over to her, followed by a big hug,” the post said. “Thank you Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place.”

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