A man on the run after allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a woman has used dating apps to find other potential victims or accomplices in his escape, police say.
The Grants Pass Police Department in Oregon said Sunday they are still trying to arrest Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, who they described as “extremely dangerous.” They are offering a $2,500 reward and released several photos noting that he may have been attempting to alter his appearance.
On January 25, police identified Foster as a suspect in the attempted murder of a woman the previous day. She was found unconscious, bound and beaten and taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police said Foster fled in a dark blue 2008 Nissan Sentra before officers arrived and they believed he was armed.
On Thursday, several law enforcement agencies served a search warrant on a home in Wolf Creek, a small community about 20 miles from Grants Pass. Foster evaded authorities, and police said they believe he had help. During their search, authorities seized evidence, including Foster’s car, and arrested a 68-year-old woman on suspicion of obstructing law enforcement.
“The investigation has revealed that the suspect is actively using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting individuals who could be tricked into helping the suspect escape, or possibly as additional victims,” police said.
Police did not say which apps Foster allegedly used.
According to the Associated Press, Foster faced decades in prison in 2019 after holding his then-girlfriend captive in her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. However, in 2021, Foster was sentenced to just two and a half years in a Nevada state penitentiary after reaching a settlement with Clark County prosecutors.
During her detention, the woman was forced to eat lye and choked to the point of unconsciousness. Police reports obtained by the AP revealed that she suffered seven broken ribs, two black eyes and other injuries from being zip-tied at her wrists and ankles.
She managed to escape from Foster and found help at a nearby apartment complex, where she was taken to a hospital.
On Sunday, Grants Pass police said they were receiving a barrage of tips about Foster shaving his beard or changing his hair. Anyone with information can call 541-237-5607, and authorities have urged anyone who sees him to stay away and call 911.