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Oregon kidnapping suspect killed 2 before taking own life: police

(NewsNation) — The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon killed two men before being cornered by officers and fatally shooting himself, police said Wednesday.

Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, died at a hospital Tuesday night, hours after he shot himself while hiding in a crawlspace underneath a house.

Foster was the subject of a nationwide manhunt, wanted on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault in the second degree 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.

Foster narrowly eluded a police raid last Thursday in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, then was seen Tuesday in the same neighborhood where the woman was found. 

This led police to perform well-being checks, alerting local residents to their search for Foster, who authorities called “extremely dangerous.”

It was during well-being checks that police observed through an open window the deceased bodies of Richard Lee Barron Jr. and Donald Owen Griffith.

Oregon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy said the two men lived together in the unincorporated community of Sunny Valley and apparently did not know Foster, who police said left a gruesome scene and stole some of the victims’ belongings, including their dog.

Police said an initial, ongoing investigation indicated they both died from blunt force trauma.

Officers from four agencies assembled a SWAT team while attempting to secure Foster’s surrender.

Foster barricaded himself under the house as police arrived in full force.

“We had to cut into the floorboards,” Hensman said.

Foster then shot himself, was taken into custody and died at a hospital, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.