LawManhunt for man using online dating apps to lure women victims in...

Manhunt for man using online dating apps to lure women victims in Oregon

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, is hunted for allegedly holding a woman captive and severely beating her into unconsciousness. Foster uses online dating apps to aim for new victims and lure individuals into helping him evade police, authorities said.

The unnamed female victim lies in a hospital and is in critical condition due to the beatings she suffered from Foster on January 24 at Grants Pass, Oregon.

On Thursday, Grants Pass police, county officers, an Oregon State Police SWAT team, and assisting federal agents launched a massive manhunt and raided a property in Wolf Creek — an unincorporated community about 20 miles north of Grants Pass — in an effort to arrest Foster for attempted murder.

Lengthy Manhunt

“Following a lengthy manhunt, Foster evaded capture and likely received assistance in fleeing the area,” Grants Pass police said Friday.

During the search, Foster’s car was taken into custody, and they likewise detained a 68-year-old woman, identified as Tina Marie Jones, for obstructing the prosecution’s investigation.

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According to court documents, Foster had driven to a remote location in Wolf Creek and deliberately drove his car over a ridge. Jones then drove Foster to the property that was raided Thursday where Foster had been hiding.

Authorities said Foster “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.”

Grants Pass police have advised people to be “extra safe while this predator is still at large” and warned that those who assist Foster with his escape will face potential prosecution.

Police offered a $2,500 reward on Friday for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Foster.

Foster is also wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault. They believe that Foster may attempt to change his appearance, is armed, and is “extremely dangerous.”

Convict, parolee, or escapee?

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Foster was previously found guilty of holding a woman captive in Nevada.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said that it is “extremely troubling” that Foster was out and able to prey on other women instead of still being behind bars for the Nevada crimes.

Foster was initially charged with five felonies and decades of prison time after he was arrested for holding his then-girlfriend captive in her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks in 2019.

But in 2021, Foster was able to reach a deal with local prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one felony count of battery and a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence. Foster was sentenced to up to 2 1/2 years in a Nevada prison.

Records would show that Foster was out of custody at the time on a suspended jail sentence for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

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He was also awaiting trial in another 2018 case involving domestic violence. But Foster’s plea deal with prosecutors in 2021 settled the domestic violence case, and he was “sentenced to credit for time served.”

The question remains – why is he out of jail when he is a convicted felon?

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