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Deputy’s affidavit details allegations against Madras fugitive


(Update: Details in court affidavit)

A four-page affidavit in support of an arrest warrant for a Madras fugitive tells the story of a terrifying recent morning for a Madras woman, the mother of their child, who said he threatened to kill her.

NewsChannel 21 obtained the court records on Wednesday and the document revealed Omar Benitez, 37, faces nearly two-dozen charges, including multiple counts of first- and second-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery.

In the search warrant affidavit filed with initial charges a week ago, Jefferson County sheriff’s Deputy Ronald Larson said he responded on Sept. 10 to the Pelton Dam boat ramp and found the woman “visibly shaking, short of breath and sobbing.”

She told the deputy she woke up after 8:50 a.m. to several text messages and a recorded message from Benitez, who allegedly threatened to kill her.

A couple hours after, while heading home, she said she ran into Benitez on B Street, who approached her vehicle and pulled a gun, got into her car and told her to drive.

The woman said she drove to an unknown location and told Benitez, ” I know you’re not going to kill me, so why are you doing this to me?”

A violent struggle occurred and Benitez pulled her out of the car and she ran away, but the suspect got in the car and drove after her and struck her on the right hip, she told the deputy.

Minutes later, a car came down the Pelton Dam Road, and Benitez took off with one of two kids in a Ford sedan, she told the deputy.

The child was later found safe in the car at a restaurant in Warm Springs.

On Sunday, the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team, aided by Madras police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies, raided a home in Madras, looking for Benitez. But he wasn’t there and police are asking the public for help.

Sheriff’s deputies developed information indicating that Omar Benitez, 37, was at a home in the 700 block of Southwest Madison Street, said Madras police Sgt. Mel Brown.

Based on that information, they applied for and obtained a search warrant to find Benitez, who has an outstanding warrant for first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and unlawful use of a weapon, among other charges.

Due to the nature of the alleged crimes and location of the home, the CERT Team was called in and served the search warrant, but Benitez was not located, the sergeant said.

The investigation continues, Brown said, and anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact the Madras Police Department of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 541-475-2201 or 541-475-2202.

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