Man suspected of kidnapping and beating woman in Oregon may use dating apps to evade police | National

Southwest Oregon authorities are warning that a man suspected of kidnapping and beating a woman unconscious could now use dating apps to evade capture or find potential new victims, police said.

The suspect, 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah Foster, has so far evaded arrest but appears to be active on online dating services, the Grants Pass Police Department said in a statement Friday.

“The investigation has determined that the suspect is actively using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be tricked into helping the suspect escape, or possibly as additional victims,” ​​Grants Pass Police said .

The search for Foster began Tuesday after officers found a woman who had been bound and severely beaten unconscious, Grants Pass Police said. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition and is under guard while the suspect remains at large, police said.

The man fled the scene before officers arrived, but investigators identified Foster as the suspect and urged the public to call 911 immediately if they see him, warning that he “should be considered extremely dangerous.”

Police said Foster “probably received help escaping the area.” A 68-year-old woman was arrested for “obstructing law enforcement” while authorities searched for the suspect, according to the department.

While the search continues, a $2,500 reward has been offered for information leading to Foster’s capture. Police said he was wanted on suspicion of kidnapping, attempted murder and assault.

Prosecutors charged Foster with attempting to kill the victim “in the course of intentionally torturing” the woman, according to indictment documents filed in court and obtained by CNN affiliate KDRV.

“This is a very serious offense – a brutal assault on one of our residents, which we take very seriously and we will not rest until we have caught that person,” Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said in a news conference on Thursday.

The suspect has faced other charges in recent years

This isn’t the first time Foster has been accused by authorities of violence against women.

Court records in Clark County, Nevada show that years earlier Foster had been indicted on two separate counts, accusing him of assaulting women.

In the first case, Foster was charged with a felony constituting domestic violence, court documents show. Foster’s ex-girlfriend testified at a preliminary hearing that he tried to angrily strangle her in 2017 after another man texted her.

While that case was still pending in court, Foster was charged with assault, assault and kidnapping for allegedly assaulting another woman – his then-girlfriend – in 2019, prosecution documents show.

The victim told police, “Foster strangled (her) to the point of unconsciousness several times” and kept her tied up for most of the next two weeks. She said she was only able to gain her freedom after convincing Foster they needed to go grocery shopping and escaped at a store, according to court documents.

The woman had seven broken ribs, two black eyes and abrasions on her wrists and ankles from being tied up, according to a Las Vegas police report.

Foster eventually agreed to agree to plea bargaining in the cases, the documents say. He was sentenced to a maximum of 30 months in prison, but in the first case he was given 729 days.

“Am I troubled by what I already know? The answer is yes,” Hensman said when asked about the previous charges in Nevada.

“We are totally focused on catching this man and bringing him to justice,” Hensman said.

The CNN Wire

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CNN’s Colin Jeffery contributed to this report.