MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of few people who knows what it’s like to be held captive and survive spoke with WCCO-TV Tuesday.
Jasmine Block was just 15 years old when she was taken from her Alexandria home in August 2017, and locked inside a closet for 29 days. She swam across a lake to escape.
Thomas Barker was sentenced to 25 years in prison after confessing to kidnapping her. Joshua Holby was sentenced to 7 years, and another accomplice, Steven Powers, will be sentenced Wednesday.
For most, Jayme’s story is unbelievable. But to Jasmine and her mom, Sarah, it’s quite believable.
“We still talk about all the coincidences that are so similar, down to their favorite color,” Sarah said.
Like Jayme, Jasmine also prefers purple. And that’s only the beginning. Both were captured, both escaped.
Jasmine, who could barely swim, swam across a lake to escape her captors. When Jasmine heard about Jayme, she says was proud.
“Because not a lot of people have the courage to save their self because they are scared,” Jasmine said.
Living through Jayme’s experience means re-living their own.
“I was very emotional for two days. Anytime I would see something or read something, it just reminded me of when Jasmine was found and the first few days of what we were going through and what she was going through,” Sarah said.
Like the moment When Jayme’s aunt and dog got to see her again.
“It’s like cloud nine. It’s like giving birth all over again but in a total different way,” Sarah said.
The feeling was more complex for Jasmine.
“It was hard and peaceful and happy that I had my family and friends back, and at the same time it was kind of scary because I was afraid something was going to happen,” Jasmine said.
She also offered some advice to Jayme.
“To keep her head up and she should try to go to therapy and get some help,” Jasmine said.
And that is what Jasmine is doing. She is back in school, and hopes to work with kids some day. She goes to therapy, and gets therapy from her labradoodle, Rocky.
“It’s a long road to recovery, you’re never going to forget it,” Sarah said. “Our lives will never be the same, their lives will never be the same.”
But Jasmine, like Jayme, knows how to survive. Wednesday is a big day for Jasmine. She will go inside this court and face the last of her three captors for his sentencing. She has decided to read a statement to the court letting them know what her life has been like for the past year and a half.
Jasmine’s mom says after some time passes, she hopes that she and Jasmine will be able to meet Jayme and her aunt.