The man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a woman in Oregon — who was allegedly using dating apps during his week on the lam — reportedly died after being taken into custody from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, was taken into custody Tuesday night, Jan. 31, after an hours-long standoff with police in Grants Pass, Oregon. After the standoff was resolved, Foster was taken to a hospital. At about 10:45 p.m. local time Tuesday night, a spokesperson for the Grants Pass Police told KTVL in Medford, Oregon, that Foster died at the hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It’s unclear when exactly Foster shot himself, whether it was during the standoff, or while he was in custody or at the hospital. After the standoff ended, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told the Grants Pass Daily Courier that Foster was “on his way to the hospital, still alive.”
A rep for the Grants Pass Police did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
Police had been searching for Foster for about a week. A breakthrough came Tuesday when he was reportedly seen that morning walking a small dog in the Grants Pass area. Authorities eventually surrounded Foster at the same home where he allegedly attempted to kill a woman last week.
The search for Foster began on Jan. 24 after police in Grants Pass, Oregon, responded to an assault call and found a woman who’d been “bound and severely beaten into unconsciousness” (she was hospitalized in critical condition). Authorities labeled Foster “extremely dangerous.”
Early on in the investigation, the Grants Pass Police claimed that Foster was “actively using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured into assisting with [his] escape or potentially as additional victims.” According to an NPR report on Jan. 30, numerous dating apps were looking for accounts with Foster’s name but had so far come up empty.
On Monday, Jan. 31, as the manhunt continued, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman revealed that police believed Foster had a “prior relationship” with the victim found in Oregon. Though he declined to specify the nature of the relationship, he said, “This was not a random attack.” (In that same interview, Hensman declined to say whether investigators still believed Foster was using dating apps.)
Prior to the Oregon incident, Foster faced charges for attacking women he had relationships with in two separate incidents in Las Vegas. He was charged with felony battery constituting domestic violence for allegedly trying to strangle his ex-girlfriend on Christmas Eve 2017 after he saw another man had texted her. In 2019, he was charged with felony assault, battery, and kidnapping for various incidents involving a then-girlfriend, who said Foster strangled her several times and tied her up for nearly two weeks. In both cases, Foster accepted plea deals.