Report: ‘Extremely dangerous’ Oregon kidnapping suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound following standoff with police



CNN

A man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman in Oregon this month died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff with authorities Tuesday night, CNN reported.

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at the hospital after police surrounded a home in Grants Pass, Oregon, where they believed he was hiding under the roof, CNN affiliate KTVL reported, citing police. Authorities have been trying to get the suspect to surrender, the report said.

Grants Pass police announced late Tuesday that Foster — who had been questioned by authorities for a week — was in custody, but did not elaborate on how the suspension ended. Police said they will hold a press conference on Wednesday.

CNN reached out to Grants Pass police, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s Portland office and have not heard back.

The news that Foster is in custody came after police said Foster was seen walking a dog in the Grants Pass area on Tuesday morning.

The manhunt for Foster began on January 24 after police found a woman who had been tied up and beaten to the point of unconsciousness. inside a Grants Pass home, police said. Foster had already fled by the time police arrived, he said.

The victim remained hospitalized in critical condition as of Sunday, according to Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman.

Federal, state and local authorities have been searching “around the clock” for Foster, who is wanted on suspicion of murder, robbery and assault, according to a police chief.

Prosecutors accused Foster of attempting to kill the woman while “deliberately torturing” her, according to charging documents obtained by CNN affiliate KDRV. The victim endured the alleged abuse “for a long time,” the police chief said.

Police check their weapons at a home during a disturbance in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday.

The victim was initially found by a friend who called police and identified Foster as the suspect, Hensman said.

When the police arrived on January 24, they found “very disgusting things,” the police chief said, adding that the photos taken by investigators were “horrifying.”

“I’ve seen a lot in my career, but some things stay with you, and this one doesn’t stay in my memory for years,” Hensman told CNN on Monday.

Foster and the victim had a “long-standing relationship,” Hensman told CNN on Monday. He did not say much but said, “This was not a random attack.”

Investigators are still sifting through “a large amount of evidence” and following up on the tips the department has received so far, the police chief said.

Hensman urged anyone who encounters Foster — whether in person or online — to call 911 immediately. Police warned that a “very dangerous suspect” could have been armed.

Authorities are advising Benjamin Foster, pictured above, to try to change his appearance while evading the police.

Hensman said Monday that he does not believe Foster is a “random attacker” but warned that “nothing is on the table with someone like him.”

“He is really a danger to others,” the police chief said. “I think he could be a threat to someone he would make friends with.”

Investigators have previously suggested that Foster may have used dating apps to find potential victims or trick people into helping him escape arrest. Hensman declined to comment Monday on whether Foster is still working on the programs.

Foster is accused of sexually abusing women in two separate cases in Las Vegas, Clark County records show.

In the first case, Foster was charged with domestic violence, records show. His ex-girlfriend testified that she tried to kiss him on Christmas Day in 2017 after she noticed that another man had been texting her, according to the documents.

He was also charged with assault, battery and theft for allegedly abusing his then-girlfriend in 2019, according to charging documents.

The victim told police Foster strangled her several times and tied her up for the next two weeks, a Las Vegas police report said. By the time he managed to get to the hospital, he had seven broken ribs, two black eyes and bruises on his hands and ankles from the arrest, the report said.

Foster accepted both pleas. In the first case, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison but was given credit for 729 days.

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