Police: Suspect In Oregon Kidnapping Allegedly Bludgeoned Two Men To Death Before Committing Suicide During Manhunt

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Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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The Oregon man accused of kidnapping and beating a woman in January allegedly murdered two individuals before taking his own life after a standoff with police, authorities stated at a press conference Wednesday.

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, was wanted by police for allegedly kidnapping and severely beating a woman in Grants Pass, Oregon. During their multi-day manhunt, police tracked Foster to Wolf Creek where, after a long standoff, he reportedly evaded capture, authorities stated at the press conference. Since Foster was deemed “dangerous” police in the area performed “literal door-to-door” welfare checks with the residents.

During a welfare check, police observed what appeared to be a crime scene through an open window of a home in the area. Upon further investigation police found the bodies of Richard Lee Barron Jr. and Donald Owen Griffith, both dead from apparent blunt force trauma, police stated during the press conference.

Though the homicide investigation is only “30 hours old,” Oregon State Police Captain Kyle Kennedy stressed that they believe Foster was the one responsible for the deaths of Barron and Griffith. “We believe that those are related to Benjamin Foster and at this time we’re confirming our suspicions as the investigation goes on,” Kennedy stated at the press conference.

That sentiment was shared by Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel, who stated that the injuries sustained by the victims were  “very similar” to Foster’s modus operandi.

Foster allegedly took a cab from the location of the homicide, along with property taken from the home, and made his way back to Grants Pass, officers stated at the conference. Police once again zeroed in on Foster’s location, issuing a shelter-in-place order for all residents with a half-mile radius of the home.

“After a lengthy stand-off, and failed communication … we located him burrowed deep underneath the home. We knew he was armed and dangerous … we had to be incredibly careful,” Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman stated at the press conference. The standoff ended when Foster allegedly shot himself in the head with a .45 caliber weapon. (RELATED: Kidnapping Suspect Reportedly Dead After Standoff With Police)

When police pulled up the floorboards of the home to recover his body, however, they found that Foster was still breathing. He was transferred to a local hospital where he died of his wound within “an hour or two,” Hensman revealed.

“Our thoughts, our prayers go out to the families, the victims, the citizens, our community, everybody that’s been impacted by this horrific chain of events,” Hensman stated.