A reality TV contestant, Ryan Alexander Jenkins, was charged with murder Thursday in the death of his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, as the manhunt for Jenkins spread to Canada and police provided gruesome new details about the killing.
Police say Jenkins removed the teeth and fingers of Jasmine Fiore, presumably to impede authorities in their efforts to identify the naked body after it was found stuffed in a suitcase in a California trash bin last weekend.
The former swimsuit model and Jenkins were briefly married after a quickie Las Vegas wedding earlier this year, and had been fighting in recent months. Prosecutors said the two checked into a San Diego hotel last Thursday, and Jenkins checked out the next morning. Fiore was not seen alive again.
He vanished after the body was found Saturday and Buena Park, Ca. police Lt. Steve Holliday said he’s possibly armed with a handgun.
Jenkins is believed to have driven 1,000 miles to Washington state and then hopped in a boat to a peninsula on the border, where he walked into Canadian territory. A Canadian police official said ground, air and canine units are involved in the search for Jenkins.
Fiore’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Hasman, urged Jenkins’ friends and family to help police find him.
Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality TV show “Megan Wants a Millionaire.”
After taping for the VH1 series finished in early March, Jenkins met 28-year-old Fiore in Las Vegas casino and the two got married on March 18, said Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore.
But in May, “they had a big blowout,” and fought because he was jealous of her ex-boyfriends, Lepore said. “She had the marriage annulled.”
The federal government was in the process of issuing a federal warrant Thursday afternoon, which would allow Canadian authorities to take Jenkins into custody there.
If Jenkins is arrested in Canada, California can request that he be extradicted to the U.S.
Jenkins earned the nickname “Smooth Operator” on “Millionaire” because of “his cheeky cockiness. And I mean that in a friendly way,” said Rob Locke, who played the host, a butler named Niles.
Court records show that Jenkins was charged in June in Clark County, Nev., with a misdemeanor count of “battery constituting domestic violence” for allegedly hitting Fiore in the arm and will be tried in December.
Jenkins also has a criminal history in his hometown of Calgary, Canada. He was sentenced to 15 months of probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge, according to the Alberta, Canada Ministry of Justice. No further details were available.
Neal Tomlinson, a partner at the law firm representing Jenkins in the Nevada case, declined to comment and declined to say if his firm was representing Jenkins in the current matter.
Fiore was last seen alive with Jenkins at a poker game in San Diego. Jenkins reported her missing Saturday night to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, police said.
A preliminary coroner’s report indicated Fiore was strangled.
VH1 said it has postponed any future airings of the show. The statement also said that the show was an outside production licensed to VH1, but that it was produced and owned by 51 Minds Entertainment.