A manhunt is underway for a 36-year-old Oregon man believed to be armed, “extremely dangerous” and luring victims on dating apps, police have warned.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, of Wolf Creek, is wanted by police for kidnapping, attempted murder and assault after Grants Pass Police officers responding on Tuesday night to an assault call found “a female victim who had been bound and severely beaten into unconsciousness.
“The victim was transported to an area hospital in critical condition,” police wrote on Facebook. “The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived but was positively identified as” Foster.
Police said on Sunday the victim was in critical condition.
“It is possible that Benjamin Foster may attempt to change his appearance by shaving his beard and hair or by changing his hair color,” the department wrote, asking the public to “pay particular attention to Foster’s facial structure and eyes since those features are very difficult to change.”
Grants Pass Police wrote that “the investigation has revealed that the suspect is actively using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured into assisting with the suspect’s escape or potentially as additional victims.”
Law enforcement on Thursday served a search warrant in the 1300 block of Sunny Valley Loop in Wolf Creek, seizing evidence including the 2008 Nissan Sentra Foster was believed to have been driving. The suspect evaded capture “and likely received assistance in fleeing the area,” Grants Pass police said.
Tina Marie Jones, 68, of Wolf Creek, was arrested during the search, the department wrote on Facebook.
The department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest and prosecution. Detectives and Fugitive Apprehension Teams continue to investigate, police wrote.
Foster has a troubled history of assault, according to court records.
An ex-girlfriend claimed that he attempted to strangle her in a rage in 2017, according to court documents in Clark County, Nevada, where e was charged with felony battery constituting domestic violence, CNN reported.
Two years later — while that case was still pending in court — Foster was charged with felony assault, battery and kidnapping for allegedly attacking another woman, his girlfriend at the time, according to CNN. Foster allegedly strangled the victim “to the point of unconsciousness several times” and tied her up for nearly two weeks; she was only able to escape after convincing the suspect they needed a trip to the store, where she slipped from his grasp.
Foster agreed to plea deals in both cases, according to CNN, and was sentenced to a maximum of 30 months in prison but given credit for 729 days served in the first case.
In Oregon, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman on Thursday lamented the “brutal assault on one of our residents” during a news conference and said authorities would “not rest until we capture this individual.”
Grants Pass is located along Interstate 5, 245 miles south of Portland and just under 400 miles north of San Francisco.
The Independent has reached out to the Grants Pass Police Department.
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