A man accused of kidnapping and torturing an Oregon woman this month died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an hours-long standoff with authorities Tuesday night, a CNN affiliate reported.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at a hospital after law enforcement surrounded a property in Grants Pass, Oregon, where he was believed to be hiding under a house, CNN affiliate KTVL reported, citing police. Authorities tried to get the suspect to surrender, the report said.
Grants Pass police said late Tuesday that Foster, who has been wanted by authorities for a week, was in custody, but did not provide details on how the standoff ended. Police said they would hold a press conference on Wednesday.
CNN reached out to Grants Pass police, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s Portland office, but they did not hear back.
News that Foster is in custody comes after police say Foster was seen walking his dog in the Grants Pass area Tuesday morning.
The search for Foster began on January 24 after officers found the woman bound and severely beaten until she was unconscious. at a Grants Pass home, police said. Foster had already fled the scene of the crime when police arrived, they said.
The victim was still hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, according to Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman.
Federal, state and local authorities have been searching “around the clock” for Foster, who is wanted on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault, the police chief said.
Prosecutors accused Foster of trying to kill the woman while “deliberately torturing” her, according to the indictment obtained by CNN affiliate KDRV. The victim “endured the alleged abuse for a long time,” the police chief said.
The victim was first found by a friend who called police and identified Foster as the suspect, Hensman said.
When officers arrived on January 24, they found an “absolutely disgusting scene”, the police chief said, adding that the images taken by investigators were “appalling”.
“I’ve seen a lot in my career, but some things stick with you and it’s going to be etched in my memory for many years to come,” Hensman told CNN on Monday.
Foster and his victim had a “prior relationship,” Hensman told CNN on Monday. He did not give further details, but said: “This was not a random attack.”
Investigators are still sifting through a “substantial amount” of evidence and following up on the flood of tips the department has received so far, the police chief said.
Hensman encouraged people who come into contact with Foster — in person or online — to immediately call 911. Police warned that an “extremely dangerous suspect” could be armed.
Hensman said Monday that he did not believe Foster was a “random attacker” but warned that “nothing is off the table with an individual like him.”
“He certainly poses a threat to others,” the police chief said. “I think he would be a threat to someone who could befriend him.”
Investigators previously said Foster may be using dating apps to find potential new victims or manipulate people to help him avoid arrest. Hensman declined to comment Monday on whether Foster is still active on those apps.
Foster was charged in two separate cases in Las Vegas with assaulting women with whom he had a relationship, Clark County records show.
In the first case, Foster was charged with a felony amount of domestic violence, records show. His ex-girlfriend testified that he tried to strangle her on Christmas Eve in 2017 after he saw another man text her, according to the documents.
He was also charged with felony assault, battery and kidnapping for allegedly abusing his then-girlfriend in 2019, according to the indictment.
The victim in that case told police Foster choked her repeatedly and kept her bound for most of the next two weeks, according to a Las Vegas police report. When she finally managed to escape to the hospital, she had seven broken ribs, two black eyes and abrasions on her wrists and ankles from the contact, the report said.
Foster accepted a plea deal in both cases. In the first case, he was sentenced to a maximum of 30 months in prison, but he was credited with 729 days in prison.