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Suspect wanted in model killing found dead in Canada: police

world Updated: Aug 24, 2009 12:28 IST
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A reality TV contestant suspected of killing his swimsuit-model ex-wife in the United States was found dead of an apparent suicide Sunday in a Canadian hotel room, police said.

Ryan Alexander Jenkins, 32, was charged in the United States with murder on Thursday after days of being considered a "person of interest" in the gruesome killing of 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore of Los Angeles.

The model's mutilated body was found inside a suitcase in a dumpster more than a week ago.

Her fingers and teeth had been removed, and authorities had to identify her with the serial number on her breast implants.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Federal Border Integrity Program said Sunday in a statement it "is now able to confirm that a deceased person that was found in a motel in Hope, British Columbia is, in fact, Ryan Jenkins."

"Preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life," the RCMP added.

Jenkins, a Canadian who recently vied with 16 other contestants on the VH1 television show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," was the subject of an international manhunt, according to Tom Monson, police chief in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Police believe he may have crossed the Canadian border from a remote area in northwestern Washington state, abandoning his black 2003 BMW SUV and an empty boat trailer at a boat launch in Blaine, Washington, and traveling over water to Point Roberts, then on foot into Canada.

Authorities believed he had fled to Canada to escape the death penalty.

Media reports said Jenkins had been found dead this afternoon by motel staff, who alerted local authorities.

The RCMP said it was continuing to liaise with US authorities.

Officials said it was Jenkins himself who reported Fiore missing more than a week ago, when a suitcase with her body was found by a man searching the garbage dumpster for recyclable bottles. Police said Fiore appeared to have been strangled.

Jenkins has at least twice faced criminal charges for violence against women.

In 2006, he received 15 months probation for assaulting his girlfriend in July 2005 and was ordered to undergo treatment for sex addiction.

He was also due in court December 18 to face a misdemeanor charge for allegedly punching Fiore in the arm, according to the Orange County Register.

Fiore and Jenkins had married in Las Vegas earlier this year, after his stint on the VH1 reality show, but according to media reports the marriage was annulled a short time later.

On the show, Jenkins, an investment banker, was one of several men vetted by a woman searching for love and fortune.

In the casting process for "Megan Wants a Millionaire," broadcaster VH1 said it was looking for single men with a net worth of at least one million dollars, and said would-be bride Megan Hauserman "would make the perfect arm candy for any man who can afford her."

VH1 said it was no longer airing the show in light of the investigation.