Oregon State Police warn public that man accused of torture is using dating apps to lure new victims
Oregon police have warned the public to be on the lookout for a man accused of torturing and attempting to kill a woman in her home after he used dating apps to lure new victims.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, of Wolf Creek – located 60 miles north of California border – is wanted by police for allegedly tying up and nearly beating to death Justin Simmons of Grants Pass on Tuesday.
Simen’s name has not been released by the Grants Pass Police Department, but her identity was confirmed by friends at Facebook and GoFundMe. Siemens, who was also a bodybuilder, remains in intensive care in critical condition.
Foster, who is still at large, allegedly “tied up and brutally beat” Simmons until she passed out in her Shane Way home. Police believe she was abducted between Monday and Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, a friend arrived at Simen’s home after he was unable to reach her and “interrupted” the torture, according to The New York Times.
Lt. Jeff Hattersley told the Times that Foster fled in his 2008 Nissan Sentra and then “fled into the desert” on foot. Foster’s car was found at Tina Marie Jones’ home on Sunny Valley Loop in Wolf Creek, which is surrounded by wooded areas.
Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, of Wolf Creek, located 60 miles north of the California border, is wanted by police in the alleged connection and near death of Justin Simmons of Grants Pass on Tuesday.
Simen’s name has not been released by the Grants Pass Police Department, but her identity has been confirmed by friends on Facebook and GoFundMe. Siemens remains in intensive care in critical condition
Jones had followed Foster in a vehicle earlier Thursday as he drove to a remote location in Wolf Creek, the AP reported, and then intentionally drove his 2008 Nissan Sentra down an embankment, according to court documents. Jones then drove Foster to the property that was raided Thursday night and where Foster was hiding while police searched for him, according to Josephine County Circuit Court records reviewed by the AP.
The 68-year-old was arrested Thursday on two counts of hindering prosecution for allegedly harboring Foster.
After serving a search warrant, Grants Pass police, sheriff’s deputies, Oregon State Police SWAT and federal agents found Foster’s car at her home and evidence that he had used dating apps to commit crimes.
“The investigation revealed that the suspect is actively using online dating apps to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured into helping the suspect escape or potentially as additional victims,” the Grants Pass Police Department posted on Facebook.
Jones is currently being held in the Josephine County Jail.
Police dogs searched the thick woods behind the home but were unable to find him Friday. Police believe the attacker befriended the 68-year-old because they lived in a similar area, Hattersley told the Times.
“We suspect that he somehow made friends with him, who lives in this area [Jones],’ he said.
On Tuesday, a friend arrived at Simen’s home after he was unable to reach her and “interrupted” the torture. Foster then fled in his 2008 Nissan Sentra and then “fled into the desert” on foot. Foster’s car was found at Tina Marie Jones’ home on Sunny Valley Loop in Wolf Creek, which is surrounded by wooded areas
Hattersley also believed that if Seaman’s friend had not turned up at her home on Tuesday, “we would have had a very different investigation”.
“It was clear that his intention was to kill her,” he told The New York Times. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 32 years and this is one of the most heinous and horrific cases I’ve ever seen.”
Simen’s friend, Jacqueline Frankel, said she saw the pair at Corvette’s Bar and Grill in Grants Pass in the weeks before the alleged attack, although they weren’t hanging out. Siemens appears to have worked at the restaurant, according to her Facebook page.
Foster is also a bartender at Grants Pass. It’s unclear if he worked at Corvette, but police said he knew about Simen before the attack. DailyMail.com has contacted the restaurant for comment.
Frankel said Foster “just seemed like a normal guy” at the time, but didn’t see him “hanging out” with Siemens.
Police said it was “obvious that he intended to kill her” and that he abducted her sometime between Monday and Tuesday night
Police believe that if Simen’s friend had not shown up at her home on Tuesday, “we would have had a very different investigation.”
Police served a search warrant at a home on Sunny Valley Loop in Wolf Creek, where his vehicle (pictured) was found. Police also found evidence that he used dating apps to aid in his crimes
The home belonged to Tina Marie Jones, 68, of Wolf Creek (pictured), who was arrested on two counts of hindering prosecution for allegedly helping him hide
This isn’t the first time Foster has faced similar charges, as he was convicted in 2019 of holding his girlfriend captive in Las Vegaswhere he studied at the university.
He reportedly held his girlfriend captive in her own apartment for two weeks and brutally tortured her.
That victim, whose name has been redacted from court records, suffered a shaved head, seven broken ribs, two black eyes and chemical burns from lye, which Foster also allegedly forced her to eat for 16 days.
He was originally charged with five felonies, including assault and battery, and faced decades in prison upon conviction. But in August 2021, Foster reached a plea deal with Clark County prosecutors that allowed him to plead guilty to one count of battery and misdemeanor domestic violence battery.
The judge sentenced him to 2.5 years in a Nevada prison. The 729 days he spent in jail awaiting trial were credited toward his sentence, leaving Foster with less than 200 days left to serve in state prison.
Authorities say Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 33, forced his girlfriend to eat lye while holding her captive in his Las Vegas apartment for 16 days before she escaped in 2019
Siemens was also once a bodybuilder (pictured)
She also worked at a bar where her friend said she also saw Foster, but they didn’t “hang out” together. Foster also works as a bartender, but it’s unclear if they worked at the same location
The woman also told police she was strangled until she passed out.
She escaped when Foster let her out of his sight during a trip together to a grocery store and gas station.
After spending several months in prison, Foster returned to Oregon, where he “unfortunately found another woman who had been victimized in a very similar way,” Hattersley told The New York Times.
A friend of Seaman’s said Foster “just seemed like a normal guy” at a bar in the weeks before the beating
She was found at her home (pictured) in Grants Pass
Court records show Foster was out of prison at the time on a suspended sentence for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. He was also awaiting trial in another 2018 domestic violence case. But Foster’s plea deal with prosecutors in 2021 settled the domestic violence case, a copy of the agreement shows, and he was “sentenced to credit for time served.”
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told the AP on Thursday that it was “very troubling” that Foster was on the loose and could be preying on other women instead of still behind bars for crimes in Nevada.
Grants Pass police are now warning the town of 40,000 that Foster is considered armed and “extremely dangerous.” Foster is “trained in mixed martial arts,” according to friend Seaman Ashley, who started a GoFundMe that has raised more than $700 of its $100,000 goal.
“We’re using every technology available to find this person,” Hensman said.
Police are offering a $2,500 reward for anyone with information about the case and have set up a tip line at 541-237-5607.