A man with a long rap sheet for torturing women is using dating apps both to lure new victims and evade capture, authorities in northwestern Oregon warned on Jan 29.
Police have been seeking Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, since they found an unconscious, bound woman in Grants Pass last Tuesday. Near death, she was hospitalised in critical condition.
Two days later, state and local authorities raided a property 20 miles north of Grant’s Pass, seized Foster’s car and arrested 68-year-old Tina Marie Jones, who they believe helped Foster escape.
Foster is “an extremely dangerous suspect” wanted for kidnapping, assault and attempted murder, the Grants Pass Police Department said, adding that he’s “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”.
He may shave his beard or dye his hair to disguise his appearance, said police in the 39,000-population city about 140 miles north of Eugene, noting that anyone helping Foster escape could also be charged.
Before moving to Oregon, Foster was convicted of keeping another woman, his girlfriend at the time, in captivity in Nevada in 2019. He broke seven of her ribs, gave her two black eyes and inflicted injuries on her wrists and ankles by binding her with zip ties and duct tape. He also forced her to eat lye and choked her unconscious, she told police.
The girlfriend escaped while they were out buying gas and groceries. Foster had faced 2½ years in prison but got credit for the 729 days he served while awaiting trial, which got him back onto the streets after 200 days.
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman questioned why Foster had served so little time in the first place, calling it “extremely troubling”.
Cops are offering a US$2,500 (RM10,610) reward for Foster’s capture but warned that anyone seeing him should not confront him directly. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service