Investigators would not, in fact, have an idea of the full, horrifying truth until after Melchert identified the figure in his field on September 5. “I could make out her face, and I went, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the gal from Alexandria that’s been gone for 29 days,’” he told The New York Times. “It’d been on the news, it’d been online, it went national. It was on posters, in stores, her face, her picture. Right away I recognized her.”
And the circumstances surrounding Jasmine’s disappearance? Well, it appears that she had been abducted – and then subjected to a horrendous ordeal. On the evening of August 8, Thomas Barker, a 32-year-old supposed friend of the family, allegedly called at the girl’s house. He then apparently told her that he needed some help with his young son, who was supposedly causing trouble. It is claimed, moreover, that Jasmine subsequently got into his vehicle. But instead of driving to his family’s house, Barker allegedly drove out to his mobile home in the tiny settlement of Carlos, several miles from Alexandria.