It was nearly a month ago that a 15-year-old Minnesota girl, who is not being named, climbed into a truck driven by her friend’s father. The girl thought she was going to help out the man, instead, she was held captive for 29 days.
During her time in captivity, the girl was threatened with guns, restrained with zip ties, forced to sit in a dark closet, and raped repeatedly. The victim was only able to escape when her friend’s father, as well as two other men who had been holding her captive, went out to lunch. She broke free of her restraints and managed to swim across the lake to a farmer’s field.
Terrified, still dripping wet, and missing her shoes and pants, the farmer instantly recognized the girl. For nearly a month, local news agencies have been reporting on the case of the missing teenager. The farmer immediately phoned the police.
Police quickly apprehended the three men alleged to have kidnapped the girl. 20-year-old Steven Powers, 32-year-old Thomas Barker, and 31-year-old Joshua Holby have been arrested in connection to the abduction.
Time magazine reports that according to a criminal complaint filed against the trio, Barker was able to lure the Alexandria girl to his mobile home nine miles away in Carlos, Minnesota after he convinced her that he needed her to speak with his son about some behavioral issues he had been having. Once arriving at Barker’s mobile home, Barker pulled out a handgun, forced the girl to have sex with him and threatened to kill her.
The girl told police that Barker threw her into a bathtub, where she believes he attempted to drown her as he restrained her with zip ties. With the help of Holby, Barker attempted to murder the girl a second time when they forced her into a duffle bag and placed it in the bathtub. The girl was again able to fight off her attackers and stuck her head through a hole in the bag.
In a third attempt to murder the girl, she was forced to stand on a bucket with a rope around her neck. The girl reported she had difficulty breathing for several minutes before being let down and forced to snort a “white powder.”
Powers did not know about the kidnapping until two weeks later when Barker and Holby advised him not to go into Barker’s room where the girl was being held. Powers’ curiosity got the best of him and he found her in the closet, where it’s reported that she was able to have a television, a fan, as well as food and water. Powers did not attempt to free the girl or alert authorities.
After police arrested the men, Barker admitted to using alcohol and methamphetamine but denied any knowledge of the girl being held captive in his home.
According to a criminal complaint, the girl was able to escape when she was thrown into a duffle bag and taken to an abandoned property in a corn field, approximately 30 miles away from Barker’s mobile home. She was left there while the men had lunch.
All three men are currently being charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and assault. The victim has since been reunited with her family.