The man who police suspected of kidnapping and torturing a woman in Oregon may have killed two people while trying to avoid capture, police said.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, the man who police believe tortured and bound a woman before leaving her for dead in Grants Pass, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being on the run for one week.
Investigators are only now piecing together Foster’s movements over the course of the last week in what Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman called a ‘horrific chain of events.’
While hiding out from police, they now believe he was responsible for the murders of two men in the neighboring town of Sunny Valley, about 20 miles north of the original crime scene.
Officers were called to home in Grants Pass on Tuesday night to perform a wellness check on a woman by a friend who hadn’t seen her in several days. They found her tied up by the wrists and ankles, severely beaten, and close to death.
Hensman said that the victim was in stable, but still critical, condition at a local hospital.
Police identified Foster as the suspect, who had been in a ‘former relationship’ with the victim after he moved to Oregon in 2021.
Before his move, Foster lived in Nevada, where he was once sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for severely beating and kidnapping a different ex-girlfriend in 2019.
His victim was only able to escape by running from his car when he stopped to walk his dog. When a Good Samaritan found her and took her to a hospital, she had two black eyes, several broken ribs, and lacerations to her hands and ankles from zip ties.
Foster was released from prison in 2021 after a judge granted him credit for time served in a local jail before trial.
Eventually, they received a tip that Foster was at a home in the neighboring town of Wolf Creek. Police surrounded the property and made an arrest, but Foster had gotten away again.
‘Foster slipped out and he evaded us that night,’ Hensman said.
During the raid they arrested Tina Marie Jones, who reportedly helped Foster hide his car near her property.
For days, Grants Pass Police searched and followed up on every lead they received on a local tip line. They warned residents that Foster might be using dating apps to find new victims or find somebody to unknowingly help him evade capture.
Hensman said the a break in the case came when they received a tip from a local cab company. A man matching Foster’s description requested a ride from Sunny Valley – another town just south of Wolf Creek.
The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office then began performing welfare checks door-to-door in Sunny Valley.
‘Very near to the location where Mr Foster was holed up on Thursday night, we discovered a double homicide scene,’ Sheriff Dave Daniel said.
The scene is currently being investigated by the Oregon State Police.
‘At this point, we do believe Benjamin Foster is the suspect of that double homicide, as the modus operandi is very similar,’ the sheriff said.
The victims were identified as Richard Lee Baron Jr and Donald Owen Griffith. Both died from blunt force trauma, Oregon State Police Captain Kyle Kennedy said.
Police also confirmed that the attacker took ‘a number of items’ from their house, as well as their dog. Another tipster later sent in a photo of Foster walking the dog on the street after leaving Sunny Valley.
Foster was picked up by a cab driver around 7am on January 31, which took him back to Grants Pass.
Foster eventually returned to the scene of the crime, where he hid in a crawlspace under floorboards. ‘You can imagine the fear and concern that came upon your chief of police and every single law enforcement professional when we learned this happened,’ Hensman said.
Police officers in Grants Pass surrounded the home with a SWAT team and called in backup from nearby towns. They set up a command post and ordered a shelter-in-place to locals living in the residential neighborhood.
‘We had to take into account what this man just did – he brutally murdered two innocents in Sunny Valley, and we didn’t know when he was going to stop,’ the police chief said.
Police negotiated with Foster for hours before he shot himself in the head. When they entered his home, they realized that he had begun digging himself into an underground crawl space.
‘He was dug deep into this house,’ Hensman said. ‘We literally had to cut into the floorboards to get him out.’
He was still alive when police retrieved his body from the crawl space, but died a few hours later at a local hospital. ‘This was a long and arduous task, and it ended with Benjamin Foster taking his own life,’ Hensman said.
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