GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A man who was accused of torturing a woman, and who evaded police for a week, also appears to be responsible for a double murder, Oregon police said Wednesday. The man was found dead late Tuesday following an hourslong standoff from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, was wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping and assault, police said.
The Grants Pass Police Department announced late Tuesday that Foster was in custody following a standoff. Lt. Jeff Hattersley, a spokesperson for the police department, confirmed to ABC News that Foster subsequently died.
Police said Wednesday that while searching for Foster they found a double homicide scene near the scene of where the woman was allegedly tortured. The victims were not identified and it was not clear the relationship to Foster, but police said they believe he was their killer.
The standoff occurred after a man police believed to be Foster was spotted walking a small dog in the Grants Pass area Tuesday morning, the department had said. He was considered an “extremely dangerous suspect,” the department warned in an update on Sunday amid the manhunt.
Authorities said Wednesday that Foster was found under the home where the alleged torture took place and police had to rip up the floorboards of the home to find him. He was breathing when he was found, but died overnight of a gunshot wound to the head.
Police began looking for Foster on Jan. 24, after responding to a home in Grants Pass for an assault. At the home, officers found a woman in critical condition who had been “bound and severely beaten into unconsciousness,” police said.
The suspect had already fled the scene before officers arrived but was identified as Foster, of Wolf Creek, police said.
“It’s essentially an all-hands-on-deck operation,” Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told ABC News earlier this week. “We are laser-focused.”
Hensman told reporters during a press briefing on Jan. 26 that they were still working on a timeline, but said the assault are believed to have occurred over a “protracted period of time.” He would not elaborate on the nature of the suspect’s relationship with the victim.
“The scene was horrific,” Hensman told ABC News. “This is a bad man that needs to be captured.”
Amid the manhunt, authorities located Foster’s car and executed a search warrant in a home in Wolf Creek last week. The suspect “evaded capture and likely received assistance in fleeing the area,” police said.
“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.
During the search of the home, a 68-year-old woman, Tina Marie Jones, was arrested for allegedly hindering prosecution. She remains in custody at the Josephine County Jail.
The victim, identified by her family as Justine Siemens, was transported to an area hospital and remains on life support.
“She will survive this and as her family, we implore the nation to help bring her attacker to justice,” her family said in a statement.
Foster had been convicted on domestic violence charges for two assaults that occurred within the past five years in Las Vegas, court records show.
In 2019, he was accused of holding his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for more than two weeks and beating her, according to an arrest report obtained by ABC News. He was charged with four counts of battery and two counts of assault, though in August 2021 he pleaded guilty to two of the battery charges as part of a plea deal, online court records show. A judge sentenced him to up to 1.5 years in prison, with credit for the 729 days he had already spent in jail awaiting trial, according to court records.
In August 2021, he reached another plea deal in a 2018 domestic violence case and was sentenced to credit for time served for a misdemeanor battery charge, court records show.
“Am I troubled by what I know already? The answer is yes,” Hensman told reporters when asked about the prior Las Vegas cases. “We’re laser-focused on capturing this man and bringing him to justice.”
The Grants Pass Police Department was offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Foster in the attempted murder case.
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