After a frantic two-day search, Jasper has been found.
The dog's owner, Michelle Cramblett Baker, shared the good news on Facebook Monday evening, writing her beloved companion is cold and hungry, but alive, adding: "[W]e have him back!!!!!"
Jasper had been missing since Saturday morning, when the van he was in was stolen outside of a South St. Paul hotel. Baker was visiting Minnesota from Illinois at the time. She and the South St. Paul Police Department pleaded with the public to help find the vehicle and the dog, sharing photos and information to aid in the search.
A couple of hours after Baker's relieved post, police confirmed Jasper had been recovered and said he was now in "safe hands" once again.
"Thank you all for sharing our message and helping to bring Jasper home safely," the department wrote. "While we are not able to share additional details with you at this point surrounding the investigation, we can assure you that your help in sharing our message was crucial to bringing him home safely."
The circumstances surrounding Jasper's rescue weren't revealed. Baker, in a follow-up post, said he was "saved by the most amazing family"
"My boy is coming home!!!! Typical Jasper hasn’t skipped a beat or missed a chance to be on a lap," she wrote.
Then, just before 1:30 a.m., Baker shared a photo of her and Jasper together:
The South St. Paul Police Department said it is still investigating. On Monday morning, it had released an image of a possible person of interest in the case.
Bring Me The News' original story from Monday morning is below.
Police are still searching for Jasper, the show dog that was in a van when the vehicle was stolen Saturday morning.
The South St. Paul Police Department said Monday it has not been able to locate the stolen vehicle or Jasper. The dog was kenneled in the back of the van, which was stolen while parked outside of the enVision hotel in South St. Paul Saturday morning, police said.
Owner Michelle Cramblett Baker, who is visiting Minnesota from Illinois, wrote on Facebook she was "15 feet away" and "watched as my whole world drove away,"
The department was able to share a new image Monday morning — a surveillance photo showing a person "who may have information surrounding this theft."
The police department did not say he is a suspect and asked individuals not to publicly name anyone in comments on the post. But anyone who recognizes the individual (pictured above) or has information about the stolen van/Jasper is asked to call Investigator Matthew Case at 651.554.3311. You can also message the department via Facebook Messenger.
The van is a 2013 Silver Chrysler Town & Country with Illinois license plates, number AH26052.
The dog's name is Jasper. Photos on Baker's Facebook page indicate he's a show dog who has competed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Baker says she's offering a "LARGE CASH REWARD" for any info leading to Jasper's recovery. A GoFundMe launched on Baker's behalf is seeking funds for the reward money. It's brought in just over $6,300 as of Monday morning.