BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  A Minnesota man is being regarded as a hero after helped save a young girl — and then gave her his own earned reward money.

Fifteen-year-old Jasmine Block was missing for 29 days when Earl Melchert found her in rural northeast Minnesota.

WCCO CBS Minnesota reports that Block had endured abuse and several attempts on her life before she swam across a lake to safety on Sept. 5. She was kidnapped by three men and held captive until she was able to escape.

Melchert found the young girl in his backyard when he came home early after he forgot something at home.

Alexandria Police had been offering a $7,000 reward for information that would help lead them to her return. But as police gave the reward to Melchert, he turned around and gave it to Block and her family.

Thank you Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place,” wrote Alexandria Police in a post on Facebook. The post has been shared hundreds of times.

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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