Less than two years after being convicted in Nevada for critically injuring another woman he held captive for two weeks, police in southern Oregon were searching Thursday for a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive.
Grants Pass, Oregon, Police Chief Warren Hensman said in a phone interview that he finds it “extremely troubling” that the convicted criminal was free to commit additional crimes instead of still being in prison for the crimes he committed in Nevada. Only after the victim escaped from their captivity in Nevada did the ordeal end.
The 36-year-old Oregon resident Benjamin Obadiah Foster is accused of trying to kill people, kidnapping people, and assaulting people.
According to Josephine County District Attorney Joshua Eastman, Foster attempted murder on the victim in Grants Pass by “intentionally torturing” her and keeping her hidden “in a place where she was not likely to be found.”
Hensman said at a press conference on Thursday, “We are laser-focused on capturing this man and bringing him to justice.” All hands must be on deck for this mission.
Foster held his then-girlfriend hostage for two weeks in an apartment in Las Vegas in 2019. A total of five felonies, including assault and battery, were initially levelled against him.
Foster pled guilty to one felony count of battery and one misdemeanour count of battery constituting domestic violence in August 2021 after reaching a plea bargain with prosecutors in Clark County.
A judge in Nevada handed Foster a sentence of up to 2.5 years in prison, but after subtracting the 729 days he had already spent in jail awaiting trial, he will spend less than 200 more days behind bars.
Foster’s ex-girlfriend was injured during their two week ordeal together, with seven broken ribs, two black eyes, and injuries to her wrists and ankles all documented in a police report from Las Vegas. She further elaborated to police that she had been forced to eat lye and had choked to death as a result.
According to court documents, Foster was free at the time because his 2018 conviction for illegally carrying a concealed weapon had been suspended. There was another domestic violence case he was waiting to go to trial for.
Grants Pass, Oregon, is a town of around 40,000 people, and its police department recently released photos of Foster and the Nissan Sentra he was driving. They reported that he is potentially armed and “extremely dangerous.”
Hensman concluded, “We are using every piece of technology available to locate this man.”
On Tuesday, Grants Pass police were called to a residence in a residential area after reports of an assault. When police arrived, they discovered a bound and unconscious female victim. She was in severe distress and rushed to the hospital. According to the police, Foster ran away when they arrived.
Hensman said that he wasn’t ready to talk about how the police were notified.
The police chief has stated that they are taking this incident very seriously because it involves the brutal assault of a local resident.
“And we will not rest until we capture this individual.”
Hensman has stated that he is unable to look into how Nevada law enforcement dealt with Foster’s crimes at this time.
“Whatever happened in the past, we can talk about those situations later,” he said.