Crime and Safety

Manhunt: Violent Suspect Uses Dating Apps to Find Victims and Run from the Police

Authorities said Friday that a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive in Oregon, and who was convicted in Nevada for holding another woman captive, is using dating apps to find people who can help him evade police or find new victims.

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, is the subject of intense round-the-clock police searches after a woman was found unconscious, bound and near death in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday. She was hospitalized in critical condition.

Thursday night Grants Pass Police, Sheriff’s Deputies, Oregon State Police Special Forces and federal agents raided property in the unincorporated community of Wolfe Creek, about 20 miles north of Grants Pass, where they seized Foster’s car and arrested a 68-year-old woman on charges of obstructing prosecution.

Foster escaped. Authorities did not provide any other details, but the area, just off Interstate 5, is covered in dense forests and mountains.

According to court documents, the arrested woman, Tina Marie Jones, followed Foster in a car earlier Thursday as he drove to a remote location in Wolfe Creek and then deliberately drove his 2008 Nissan Sentra over an embankment.

Jones then drove Foster to a property that was ransacked Thursday night and where Foster hid while police searched for him, according to Josephine County District Court records.

Grants Pass police said Foster was “actively using online dating apps to contact unsuspecting individuals who could be enlisted to help a suspect escape or potentially become additional victims.”

On Friday, police offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Foster, who is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and assault on a Grants Pass woman.

Foster’s public defender in the Las Vegas case did not immediately respond to emails from the Associated Press asking him to comment on Foster’s behalf.

Are people too carefree with dating apps?

Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told the AP Thursday it was “extremely disturbing” that Foster was out and could be hunting other women instead of still behind bars for crimes in Nevada.

In 2019, before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend captive. Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. He was initially charged with five felony charges, including assault and battery, and faced several decades in prison after his conviction.

But in August 2021, Foster struck a deal with the Clark County Attorney’s Office that allowed him to plead guilty to one count of felony battery and one count of misdemeanor domestic violence.

The judge sentenced him to two and a half years in a Nevada prison. The 729 days he spent in jail awaiting trial were factored into his punishment, leaving Foster with less than 200 days to serve in state custody.

According to a Las Vegas police report, Foster’s girlfriend suffered seven broken ribs, two bruises under her eyes, and injuries from being tied around her wrists and ankles with zip ties and duct tape during her two-week captivity.

The woman also told police that she was forced to eat lye and suffocated into unconsciousness.

She fled when Foster lost sight of her on a road trip together. grocery store and gas stations.

Court records show that Foster was released from custody at the time and given a suspended prison sentence for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. He was also awaiting trial in another 2018 domestic violence case. But Foster’s 2021 plea deal with prosecutors settled the domestic violence case, a copy of the agreement shows, and he was “sentenced to a time-served loan.”

Police in Grants Pass, a town of nearly 40,000 in southwestern Oregon, said Foster was considered armed and “extremely dangerous.”

“We are using all available technology to find this person,” said Hensman, the police chief.

Hensman said he didn’t have time to think about how the Nevada authorities dealt with Foster’s crimes.

“Whatever happened in the past, we can talk about these situations later,” he said.

The Western Journal reviewed this Associated Press article and may have revised it prior to publication to meet our editorial standards.

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