Accused killer Ryan Jenkins found dead in Canadian motel

By Calvin Palmer

Accused killer Ryan Alexander Jenkins was found hanged yesterday in a motel in British Columbia, Canada.

Staff at the Thunderbird Motel, in Hope, entered the room at 11:00 a.m. and found the body, Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Sgt Duncan Pound said. Identification of the body was confirmed at 5:00 p.m.

“At this present time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests he took his own life,” Pound told a news conference.

The manager of the motel, Kevin Walker, said a blonde woman in her twenties checked in on August 20, saying she needed a room for at least three days. Outside, a man waited in a PT Cruiser with Alberta license plates.

Jenkins, 32, was charged with the murder of his ex-wife and swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore, 28, whose naked body was found stuffed in a suitcase left in a dumpster in Buena Park, California, on August 15.

Fiore had been strangled. Her fingers had been cut off and her teeth removed to hamper identification, said Orange County prosecutors. She was identified by the serial numbers of her breast implants.

Hope is about 100 miles from Point Roberts, Washington state, the last place Jenkins was reported to have been seen before he crossed into Canada.

“The sadness of this all is that Mr Jenkins will not stand before an Orange County jury for his crime,” Buena Park Police Lt Steve Holiday said at a press conference last night.

Holiday said his department’s investigation would continue. The British Columbia Coroner’s Service is also investigating Jenkins’ death and police are trying to determine how he got to Hope.

After Jenkins disappeared last week, his boat was found on Wednesday at a marina not far from the border with Canada, south of Vancouver. Canadian authorities launched a massive border search using helicopters, ground police and dogs.

Jenkins was a native of Calgary where his father is a prominent architect. Last night, his mother, Nada, still protested her son’s innocence.

“I think he panicked, my little boy, and we had to protect him, even now that he’s dead,” she told the Calgary Herald.

Jenkins and Fiore met in Las Vegas in March and got married a few weeks later in a Las Vegas casino. The couple separated shortly afterward, but had reportedly reconciled.

Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore, said earlier this week that her daughter had the marriage annulled in May. However, there are no court records of an annulment in either Nevada or in Los Angeles County.

Friends said Fiore was a model who worked mainly in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, doing gigs such as being body-painted at parties. She also was an aspiring actress and had a bit part in a horror science-fiction movie, The Abandoned.

Jenkins was recently a contestant on VH1 reality show Megan Wants a Millionaire, in which wealthy young men tried to win over a materialistic blonde. The network canceled the show on Friday.

Jenkins also was a participant in an as-yet-unaired competitive reality series, I Love Money 3. A VH1 spokesman said no decision has been made on whether or not to run the show.

Court records do show that Jenkins was charged in June in Clark County, Nevada, with a misdemeanor count of “battery constituting domestic violence” for hitting Fiore in the arm.

Jenkins also has a criminal history in Calgary. He was sentenced to 15 months of probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge, according to the Alberta, Canada Ministry of Justice.

[Based on reports by the Vancouver Sun and Associated Press.]

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