A man who is on the run after allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a woman has been using dating apps in what police say is an attempt to find other potential victims or accomplices to his escape.
The Grants Pass Police Department in Oregon on Sunday said that they're still seeking to arrest Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, whom they described as "extremely dangerous." They're offering a $2,500 reward and released several photos, noting that he may have attempted to alter his appearance.
On Jan. 25, police identified Foster as a suspect in the attempted murder of a woman the day before. She was found unconscious, bound, and beaten and taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police said Foster had fled in a dark blue 2008 Nissan Sentra before officers arrived, and they believed he was armed.
On Thursday, multiple law enforcement agencies served a search warrant to 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 they arrested a 68-year-old woman on suspicion of hindering prosecution.
"The investigation has revealed that the suspect is 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," police said.
Police did not say which apps Foster had allegedly been using.
According to the Associated Press, Foster faced decades in prison in 2019 after he held his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. However, in 2021, Foster was sentenced to only two and a half years in a Nevada state prison after reaching a deal with Clark County prosecutors.
During her captivity, the woman was forced to eat lye and was choked to the point of unconsciousness. Police reports obtained by the AP revealed she had suffered seven broken ribs, two black eyes, and other injuries from being bound at the wrists and ankles with zip ties.
She managed to escape Foster and found help at a nearby apartment complex, where she was taken to a hospital.
On Sunday, Grants Pass police said they're receiving a flood of tips about Foster, who may shave his beard or change his hair. Anyone with information may call 541-237-5607, and authorities urged anyone who sees him to stay away and call 911.