Suspect in Oregon torture case uses dating apps to find new victims, police warn | Oregon
Police in Oregon are currently searching for a suspect accused of torturing a woman, and warn that he is currently using dating apps to find people who can help him evade authorities and secure more victims.
On Friday, police in Grants Pass, southwest Oregon, announced in a news release that they are looking for 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah Foster, who is wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping and assault. The manhunt for Foster comes after Grants Pass police found a female victim bound, severely beaten and unconscious at a residence on Tuesday. The victim was hospitalized in critical condition.
The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived, but was “positively identified as Benjamin Obadiah Foster of Wolf Creek,” police said. Less than two years ago, Foster was convicted in Nevada of grabbing another woman and holding her for weeks.
Before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend captive in her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks in 2019, the Associated Press reports. According to a report reviewed by Las Vegas police, the woman suffered seven broken ribs, two black eyes and injuries from having her wrists and ankles bound with zip ties and duct tape.
In addition, the woman told the police that she was forced to drink lye and choked to the point of unconsciousness. She eventually managed to escape Foster during a trip to the grocery store and gas station.
Foster was charged with several crimes, including assault and battery, and sentenced to decades in prison. However, Foster accepted a plea deal in August 2021 that allowed him to plead guilty to one felony count of domestic violence and one misdemeanor count.
He was sentenced to two and a half years. But because the 729 days he spent in jail while awaiting trial were counted toward his sentence, Foster had less than 200 days to spend in state custody, the Associated Press reports.
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said he found it “extremely troubling” that Foster was now wanted for attempted murder and not in prison for his previous crimes.
“We are laser-focused on capturing this man and bringing him to justice,” Hensman told reporters Thursday, adding, “This is a full-on operation across the board.”
Josephine County District Attorney Joshua Eastman wrote in a court document reviewed by The Associated Press that Foster attempted to kill the victim found in Grants Pass while “deliberately torturing” her and hiding her “in an unlikely location. found”.
On Thursday night, Grants Pass police, the Oregon State Police SWAT team, sheriff’s deputies and federal agents searched a property in Wolf Creek, a community located a few miles north of Grants Pass. Foster “eluded capture and may have been assisted in fleeing the area,” police said.
Still, a number of pieces of evidence were seized, including Foster’s 2008 Nissan Sentra. Additionally, authorities arrested a 68-year-old woman for hindering prosecution.
The woman, Tina Marie Jones, followed Foster into a vehicle Thursday, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press. Foster then drove his Nissan Sentra down an embankment. The woman then took Foster to the property searched by police on Thursday night.
Foster was warned to “actively use online dating apps to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured into the suspect’s escape or may become additional victims,” police said.
As police continue to search for Foster, they have offered a $2,500 reward to anyone who can lead authorities to Foster’s arrest and charges.