Suspect killed 2 men before killing himself
The man accused of kidnapping and torturing a woman in Oregon killed two men before fatally shooting himself during an hourslong standoff with law enforcement officers, authorities said Wednesday.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at a hospital Tuesday night after he shot himself while he was barricaded underneath a house in Grants Pass, Oregon, police said Wednesday. Foster was wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault, according to the Grants Pass Police Department.
Foster died overnight of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after authorities extracted him from the Grants Pass house late Tuesday, according to the Grants Pass Police Department.
The standoff occurred after police said Foster was seen walking a dog in the Grants Pass area Tuesday morning. Authorities said Wednesday that Foster was found under the house where the alleged torture and kidnap of the Grants Pass woman took place.
Police said Wednesday that during the search for Foster, authorities found the bodies of two men in a rural area north of Grants Pass. The men apparently did not know Foster, who police said left a gruesome scene and stole some of the victims’ belongings, including their dog.
The attack on the woman and the ensuing manhunt by local, state, and federal agents rattled residents of Grants Pass, a city of about 40,000 in southwest Oregon. Authorities previously called Foster “extremely dangerous” who spent time behind bars in Nevada for a similar crime.
“We are confident that the community is safe,” Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said during a Wednesday news conference.
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Search of timeline
Foster had been the subject of a manhunt after a woman was found unconscious, “bound and severely beaten” in a house in Grants Pass on Jan. 24, Hensman said Wednesday. The woman remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The suspect had escaped a police raid last Thursday in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, about 20 miles north of Grants Pass. While authorities searched for Foster, they warned that he was using dating apps to find people who could help him avoid authorities or to find new victims.
During the raid, authorities seized Foster’s car and arrested a 68-year-old woman, identified as Tina Marie Jones, for hindering prosecution.
According to court documents, Foster had driven to a remote location in Wolf Creek and intentionally drove his vehicle over an embankment. Jones then drove Foster to the property that was raided where Foster had been hiding.
Foster was then seen Tuesday in the same Grants Pass neighborhood where the woman was found, according to police. As law enforcement surrounded the house where the alleged torture of the woman took place, Foster hid in a crawlspace underneath the house.
While officers didn’t find the suspect initially, Hensman said a sheriff’s department robot found signs of Foster hiding in the crawlspace and a camera confirmed his presence.
Foster was found unconscious but still breathing and holding a .45-caliber pistol as officers removed floorboards to extract him, Hensman added.
During the search, authorities also found the bodies of Richard Lee Barron Jr., and Donald Owen Griffith who were killed sometime between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Oregon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy said. Foster had stolen some of the victims’ belongings, including their dog.
The men lived together in the unincorporated community of Sunny Valley, about 16 miles north of Grants Pass. Foster was seen walking a dog Tuesday morning in Grants Pass, according to police.
Foster’s Nevada case
Foster was previously convicted of holding a woman captive in Nevada.
Before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks in 2019. After reaching a deal with local prosecutors in 2021, Foster pleaded guilty to one felony count of battery and a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence.
A judge sentenced Foster to 2 1/2 years in a Nevada prison. Foster was released on the same day he arrived at a prison intake facility on October 18, 2021, after a judge factored in the 729 days he had spent in jail awaiting trial. Foster could have been made to serve almost 200 additional days under the maximum sentence.
Hensman told The Associated Press last week that it was “extremely troubling” that Foster wound up being sought for attempted murder in Oregon instead of doing time in Nevada.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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