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Kidnap Suspect Was Released The Same Day He Arrived at NV Prison

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, who was at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week, was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state to serve a kidnapping sentence, reports the Associated Press. Foster faced decades in prison in Nevada after he was charged in 2019 with five felonies, including assault and battery. A deal with Clark County prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to felony and misdemeanor battery. A judge sentenced him in September 2021 to serve between one and 2 1/2 years in a state prison. William Quenga, a spokesperson for the Nevada prison system, said Foster arrived at a prison intake facility but was released the same day because the judge had factored in the 729 days Foster had spent in jail awaiting trial. That means Foster had served his minimum sentence behind bars and was a half-year from serving the maximum time given by the judge. Grants Pass, Or., Police Chief Warren Hensman said it's “extremely troubling” that Foster wound up being sought for attempted murder in Oregon instead of still being behind bars in Nevada. The victim in the Oregon case was found unconscious and bound. She was hospitalized in critical condition and has not regained consciousness, said Grants Pass Police Lt. Jeff Hattersley.

Foster narrowly eluded a police raid Thursday in Wolf Creek, Or., and may have changed his appearance by shaving his beard and hair or changing his hair color, police said. Police initially released a photo of Foster showing him with shoulder-length brown hair, but he had cut it and grown a thicker beard since the photo was made. He may have altered his appearance further since then, Hattersley said. Police offered a $2,500 reward Friday for information leading to Foster’s arrest and prosecution. None of the 50 or so tips that have come in since then has been solid enough to lead to Foster, who is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault. Forested mountains surround the community, but investigators believe that instead of disappearing solo into the wilderness, Foster had help getting out of the area. Grants Pass police said Foster was using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting people to lure them into assisting with his escape or to find new victims.


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