U.S. : Kidnapper who left a trail of blood in Oregon hides under the house

On the night of Jan­u­ary 26th, police stormed the small town of Wolf Creek in south­west­ern Oregon.

Five days lat­er, Ben­jamin Oba­di­ah Fos­ter was dead. She was found by police hid­ing in the base­ment of a house near Grants Pass, the same house where the vic­tim had been found uncon­scious and tied up a week ear­li­er. rice field.

Dur­ing that time, Fos­ter broke into anoth­er home, killed two strangers, and left a grue­some scene to escape one of the state’s biggest raids in recent mem­o­ry, police said Wednesday.

In 2019, Fos­ter held and tor­tured his then-girl­friend in a Las Vegas apart­ment for two weeks. Police say he had sev­en bro­ken ribs, had his eyes black­ened, was stran­gled and uncon­scious, and was forced to eat bleach before escaping.

Fos­ter had already received a sus­pend­ed sen­tence for an ille­gal weapons offense and was await­ing tri­al in anoth­er domes­tic vio­lence case.

He was released on Oct. 21, 2021, the same day he was trans­ferred to a Neva­da prison, two months after he was sen­tenced to one to two and a half years in a plea bar­gain with prosecutors.

Neva­da prison offi­cials said Fos­ter was released only because a judge allowed him 729 days in prison before his sentence.

Fif­teen months lat­er, 36-year-old bar­tender Fos­ter was dat­ing a woman from Grants Pass. On Jan­u­ary 24th, her friend became con­cerned when she had­n’t seen her for sev­er­al days. A friend of hers went to the wom­an’s house and found her beat­en uncon­scious and hand­cuffed to death. The vic­tim remains in hos­pi­tal on Wednes­day in crit­i­cal condition.

The inci­dent hit Grants Pass, a town of 40,000 with high unem­ploy­ment and pover­ty rates and lay­offs in the pub­lic safe­ty sec­tor as the tim­ber indus­try declined. Police say they are doing every­thing in their pow­er to find Foster.

“We are focused on get­ting this man caught and brought to jus­tice,” Police Chief War­ren Hens­man said at a press con­fer­ence on Wednes­day. “This is an all-out oper­a­tion,” he said.

That night, Grants Pass police, sher­if­f’s deputies, an Ore­gon State Police SWAT team, and fed­er­al agents raid­ed Wolf Creek, amid forest­ed moun­tains and near Inter­state 5. . Inves­ti­ga­tors seized Fos­ter’s car, which had run over an embank­ment in an appar­ent attempt to cov­er it up, and arrest­ed a 68-year-old woman for obstruc­tion of jus­tice. But Fos­ter had disappeared.

Inves­ti­ga­tors believe he helped her escape. The next day, police announced they were using a dat­ing app to find some­one who could help him avoid police or find anoth­er vic­tim. Author­i­ties offered Fos­ter a $2,500 reward and set up an infor­ma­tion window.

Hens­man said Wednes­day that he received a call from a taxi com­pa­ny say­ing a man had asked for a taxi from Sun­ny Val­ley, just south of Wolf Creek. The police were check­ing the sur­round­ing hous­es to con­firm the safe­ty of the residents.

How­ev­er, through the win­dow of one house, he saw what appeared to be a crime scene.

They went inside and found the bod­ies of Richard Lee Bar­ron Jr. and Don­ald Owen Grif­fiths, who were killed between Mon­day night and Tues­day morn­ing, accord­ing to Ore­gon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy.

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we have wit­nessed a bru­tal scene, and we are deal­ing with it,” Kennedy said. There is no evi­dence that Fos­ter knew Bar­ron or Grif­fith, who lived with him, pri­or to his murder.

Sev­er­al items were tak­en and a man’s dog was also stolen. On Tues­day, Fos­ter was spot­ted 20 miles south in Grants Pass with his dog.

Police in hel­mets and bul­let­proof vests rushed into the neigh­bor­hood with rifles and at least one armored vehi­cle. They searched the near­by house where the woman had been found the pre­vi­ous week.

Accord­ing to the police chief, the sit­u­a­tion was tense.

He said, “This man has bru­tal­ly mur­dered two inno­cent peo­ple in Sun­ny Val­ley and we don’t know when he will stop. We are urg­ing the sur­round­ing res­i­dents to evacuate.

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