An ‘extremely dangerous’ kidnapping suspect has evaded capture for nearly a week, prompting police to call for the public’s help
By Elizabeth Wolfe, Andy Rose and Sonya Hamasaki, CNN
A sweeping multi-day manhunt continues for a suspect accused of brutally beating and kidnapping a woman in Oregon who remains in critical condition, according to police.
While Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, has evaded capture since Tuesday, police say he is still active on dating apps. The Grants Pass Police Department warns he may be using the apps to find potential new victims or manipulate them into helping him escape.
State and local investigators have been working “around the clock” to find Foster, who is wanted on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman has said.
Investigators have been searching for Foster since Tuesday after they found a woman bound and beaten into unconsciousness in a residence in Grants Pass, police said. The suspect, identified by investigators as Foster, had already fled by the time police arrived, the department said.
Prosecutors accuse Foster of trying to kill the victim while “intentionally torturing” her, according to charging documents obtained by CNN affiliate KDRV. Hensman said Thursday that the victim had been enduring the alleged abuses for a “protracted amount of time.”
“I’m disgusted by what I know happened. This was an evil act,” Hensman said Thursday.
The victim was brought to a local hospital where she remains in critical condition, police said Sunday. As of Thursday, police were providing security for the victim, according to Hensman.
Police said Foster “likely received assistance in fleeing the area.” A 68-year-old woman has been arrested for “Hindering Prosecution” as authorities searched for Foster, the department has said.
Police are urging the public to send in tips on the suspect’s whereabouts or any potential sightings. In a statement Sunday, the department said people should pay particular attention to his eyes and facial structure, as they believe he may try to alter his appearance by changing the cut or color of his hair and beard.
In the statement, police said people should not approach the “extremely dangerous suspect” and should instead call 911 immediately. Authorities have said Foster could be armed.
The department has set up a tip line and is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to Foster’s capture and prosecution.
“This is an all hands on deck operation and we won’t rest until we capture this man,” Hensman said on Thursday.
Suspect has faced previous assault, kidnapping charges
During a Thursday press conference, Hensman said he is “troubled” by Foster’s history of domestic violence and assault charges, which are detailed in court records.
Between 2017 and 2019, Foster was charged in two separate cases in which he was accused of attacking women in Las Vegas, according to Clark County court records.
In the first case, Foster was charged with felony battery constituting domestic violence, the records show. Foster’s ex-girlfriend testified in a preliminary hearing that he tried to strangle her on Christmas Eve of 2017 after he saw that another man had texted her.
While that case was still pending, Foster was charged with felony assault, battery and kidnapping for alleged abuses against his then-girlfriend in 2019, according to charging documents.
The victim told police “Foster strangled (her) to the point of unconsciousness several times” and kept her tied up for most of the next two weeks. She said she was only able to escape after convincing Foster they needed to go shopping for food and water, and ran away when he got out of the car to let their dog use the bathroom, the court records show.
The woman was able to run through a store and into a nearby apartment complex, where somebody offered to take her to a hospital, according to a Las Vegas police report. There, she was found to have seven broken ribs, two black eyes and abrasions to her wrists and ankles from being tied up, the report said.
Foster accepted plea deals in both cases. In the first case, he was sentenced to a maximum of 30 months in prison but given credit for 729 days served.
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CNN’s Colin Jeffery and Nouran Salahieh contributed to this report.