Raw Salem. A man accused of torturing a woman he held captive in Oregon, and convicted in Nevada of holding another woman captive, is using dating apps to find people who can help him avoid the police or find new victims, authorities said.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, is The subject of intense round-the-clock searches by the police After a woman was found unconscious, bound, and near death in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday. She was taken to hospital in critical condition.
On Thursday night, Grants Pass police, sheriff’s deputies, an Oregon State Police SWAT team, and federal agents raided a property in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, about 20 miles north of Grants Pass, where they commandeered Foster’s vehicle and arrested a 68-year-old woman for disabling litigation.
Foster managed to escape. Authorities provided no other details, but the area, located just off Interstate 5, is heavily forested and mountainous.
The arrested woman, Tina Marie Jones, had followed Foster in a car earlier Thursday as he drove to a remote location in Wolf Creek and then deliberately drove his 2008 Nissan Sentra over a bridge, according to court documents. Jones then drove Foster to the raided property Thursday night, where Foster had been hiding while police searched for him, according to Josephine County court records.
Grants Pass Police said Foster “actively uses online dating apps to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured to assist in a suspect’s escape or possibly as additional victims.”
Police offered a $2,500 reward on Friday for information leading to the arrest and trial of Foster, who is accused of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault of woman Grant Bass.
Foster’s public attorney in the Las Vegas case did not immediately respond to emails from The Associated Press seeking comment on Foster’s behalf.
On Sunday, Grants Pass Police warned that “Benjamin Foster could potentially attempt to change his appearance by shaving his beard and hair or changing his hair color.” The Grants Pass Police Department is asking the public to pay special attention to Foster’s facial structure and features since it is very difficult to alter these features. Additional photos of Foster will be released, when available, to assist in his identification.”
“Advice regarding the sighting of Benjamin Foster continues to pour into the department, and we are confident this dangerous criminal will be caught soon with the help of a concerned citizen. The Grants Pass Police Department appreciates the community’s participation in this investigation, as well as the extensive media coverage from across the country.”
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told the Associated Press Thursday that it was “extremely disturbing” that Foster was out of jail and able to assault other women rather than remain behind bars for the Nevada crimes.
In 2019, before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. He was initially charged with five felonies, including assault and battery, and faced decades in prison upon conviction. But in August 2021, Foster reached an agreement with Clark County prosecutors that allows him to plead guilty to one felony battery and count misdemeanor battery that constitutes domestic violence.
A judge sentenced him to up to two and a half years in a Nevada prison. The 729 days he spent in jail awaiting trial were factored into his sentence, leaving Foster with less than 200 days to serve in state custody.
Foster’s friend suffered seven broken ribs, two black eyes and injuries from being bound at the wrists and ankles with zip ties and duct tape during her two-week detention, according to a Las Vegas police report.
The woman also told the police that she was forced to drink lye and choked to the point of unconsciousness.
She fled when Foster left her out of his sight during a trip together to a grocery store and gas station.
Court records show Foster was out of custody at the time on a suspended prison sentence for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. He was also awaiting trial in another 2018 case related to domestic violence. But Foster’s deal with the prosecution in 2021 settled the domestic violence case, and a copy of the agreement shows, he was “sentenced to prison for time served.”
Police in Grants Pass, a town of 40,000 in southwestern Oregon, said Foster was believed to be armed and “extremely dangerous.”
“We are using every piece of technology available to locate this man,” said Hensman, the police chief.
Hensman said he didn’t have time to think about how authorities in Nevada would handle Foster’s crimes there.
“Whatever happened in the past, we can talk about these situations later,” he said.