GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon — a man who spent little time behind bars for a similar crime in Nevada — died after shooting himself during a standoff with heavily armed police, authorities said.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at a hospital Tuesday night, hours after he was taken into custody, Grants Pass Police Lt. Jeff Hattersley told KTVL TV.
Foster had been the subject of an intensive manhunt in southwestern Oregon after a woman was found unconscious, bound and near death in a house in Grants Pass on Jan. 24. On Wednesday, she remained hospitalized in critical condition.
In 2019, before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. He reached a deal with Clark County prosecutors in August 2021 that allowed him to plead guilty to one felony count of battery and a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence.
A judge sentenced Foster to between one and 2 1/2 years in a Nevada prison. After factoring in the 729 days he had spent in jail awaiting trial, Foster could have been made to serve almost 200 additional days in state custody under the maximum sentence. Instead, he was released the day he was brought to prison, Nevada corrections department officials said on Monday.
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said last week that it is “extremely troubling” that Foster wound up being sought for attempted murder in Oregon instead of remaining being behind bars in Nevada.
The attack and ensuing hunt for Foster by local police, Oregon State Police and federal agents has rattled residents of Grants Pass, a town of some 40,000 in southwest Oregon.
Foster narrowly eluded a police raid last Thursday in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, Oregon, then was seen on Tuesday in the same neighborhood where the woman he was accused of attacking was found. He barricaded himself under the same house as police arrived in full force , KTVL reported. Foster then shot himself, was taken into custody and then to the hospital where he died, police said.