Ex-model's breast implants were key to body's ID
The remains of a former model whose killing set off an international manhunt for a reality television star were so badly mutilated that investigators had to use the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify her.world Updated: Aug 22, 2009 16:51 IST
The remains of a former model whose killing set off an international manhunt for a reality television star were so badly mutilated that investigators had to use the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify her.
The man charged with Jasmine Fiore's murder, reality TV show contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins, has been on the run since reporting her missing the evening of August 15.
Her nude body had been found that morning, stuffed in a bloodstained suitcase in a trash bin in Buena Park, an Orange County city about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, but authorities didn't identify her for a few more days.
Detectives tracked the serial number on the implants because they could not use fingerprints or dental records, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. Authorities believe Jenkins, a contestant on VH1's "Megan Wants a Millionaire," may have fled more than 1,000 miles to reach his native Canada.
VH1 cancelled the show, in which wealthy young men tried to win over a materialistic blonde, network spokesman Brett Henne said on Friday. The network previously said the show was postponed after three episodes.
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.
Some Canadian media reported late Friday that Jenkins had been taken off a plane at Toronto's Pearson International airport. However, Peel Regional Police Staff Sgt. Keith Brodie said that a man resembling Jenkins who was taken off a flight from Vancouver is not him.
Buena Park police Lt. Steve Holliday said Jenkins, a native of Calgary, Alberta, is possibly armed with a handgun. Prosecutors recommended bail of $10 million upon his arrest and said he had significant resources to finance his flight.
Earlier Friday, prosecutors said the US Coast Guard had briefly pursued a boat Wednesday off the coast of Washington state that was registered to Jenkins, but the Coast Guard disputed that claim late Friday.
The Coast Guard said it was contacted on Wednesday by the Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Mounted Police to assist in the search, but it was the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office that found the boat in Point Roberts, Washington.
Canadian authorities have since ended a massive border search using helicopters, ground police and dogs but continued their investigation, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Duncan Pound said. Tips in Canada were "on the low end," he said.
Jenkins is a real estate developer and investor who is also the son of a prominent Canadian architect. On the reality show, he said he had between $1 million and $2.5 million, said Tom Hession, chief inspector for the US Marshals Service's regional fugitive task force.
Hession declined to say if authorities were watching Jenkins' assets as part of their investigation.
"When we're looking for someone who's a fugitive, we try to find out everything we can about that person," he said. "We're going to turn every rock over."
Fiore and Jenkins were briefly married in a quickie Las Vegas wedding in March and had been fighting in recent months. Prosecutors said the two checked into a San Diego hotel on Aug. 13, and Jenkins checked out the next morning. Fiore was not seen alive again. Fiore's mother, Lisa Lepore, told the AP her daughter had the marriage annulled in May.
However, there were no court records of an annulment in either Clark County, Nevada, where the couple was married, or in Los Angeles County, where they most recently lived. Court records show Jenkins was charged in June in Clark County with a misdemeanor count of "battery constituting domestic violence" for allegedly hitting Fiore in the arm and was set to be tried in December.
Neal Tomlinson, a partner at the law firm representing Jenkins in that case, declined to comment.
In his hometown of Calgary, Jenkins was sentenced to 15 months probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge. Alain Hepner, Jenkins' attorney in that matter, said as part of the judgment the judge also ordered counseling for anger management, domestic violence and sexual addiction. Hepner said there was also a civil restraining order.
In Calgary, Paulina Chmielecka said she was engaged to Jenkins for 2 1/2 years and never saw a violent side.
"The guy was a great guy, as far as I knew he was very happy," she told the Canadian TV network CTV. "In our relationship, we had our fights, everyone does, but I would never say, 'Well, he could have murdered someone.' There's no way."
A resume posted on the professional networking site LinkedIn.com showed that Jenkins has a license to fly commercial airplanes and has dabbled in several development enterprises and investments since graduating from college in 1999. Those include Townscape Development Inc., a condo project undertaken in Calgary with his father, architect Daniel Jenkins.
The elder Jenkins did not return phone or e-mail messages at his office.
After taping for "Megan Wants a Millionaire" finished in early March, Jenkins met Fiore in a Las Vegas casino and the two got married, said Lepore, Fiore's mother. Court records show the date of marriage as March 18.
But in May "they had a big blowout" and fought because he was jealous of her ex-boyfriends, Lepore said.
Jenkins then went to Mexico to do another reality TV show but struggled to get Fiore back when he returned.
"He convinced her during that month that he was really the guy for her," Lepore said. "He wrote poems and stories, and prayed, and (claimed he) had this huge spiritual awakening." The U.S. has filed a provisional apprehension warrant with Canada that allows officials there to issue a Canadian arrest warrant based on the US charges, said Hession, the US marshals official. The Canadian government will extradite defendants to the US but only with reassurances that they will not face the death penalty in the US.
Emami, the Orange County district attorney spokeswoman, had said her office was not pursuing the death penalty.