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Body found in suitcase is missing model

August 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A body found in a suitcase in Buena Park has been identified as missing 28-year-old former swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore. Police believe she was strangled. Authorities have already named a person of interest in the case. Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a 32-year-old Canadian man, first reported Fiore missing on Saturday evening.

Buena Park police and the LAPD served a search warrant on the Fairfax District penthouse where Fiore lived with her female roommate and Jenkins. A forensic unit has been combing the apartment at 833 N. Edinburgh Avenue for any clues.

Police are not calling Jenkins a suspect, but they do say he is a person of interest. They believe Jenkins was with Fiore at a poker tournament in San Diego Friday night. Jenkins called the LAPD Saturday night to report that Fiore, who he described as his wife, was missing.

"Mr. Jenkins, when he made the missing persons report on the victim, stated that it was his wife. He's the last person to see her alive. Any information that he can give us in helping find the killer is imperative to our investigation," said Buena Park Police Sgt. Frank Nunes.

There are fears Jenkins is headed north of the border to his home city of Calgary, Alberta. He could be driving one of two cars: His own car, a black BMW X5 with Canadian plates HLY275; or the missing car of Fiore's, a white 2007 Mercedes CL S550 with black rims, tinted windows and paper plates that read "Platinum Motors."

Jenkins recently appeared on the VH1 reality series, "Megan Wants a Millionaire," where 18 men compete for the affection of a woman. He descirbes himself on the VH1 Web site as an investment banker, and he claims that he molds "player girls into princesses."

The suitcase was discovered at about 7 a.m. on Saturday in an alley next to a vacant apartment building at 7457 Franklin Street. Authorities said a man was digging through the trash to look for recyclables when he found a small suitcase. When he opened it, he found a woman's body.

"It was partially opened, I lifted it up one time and saw skin, but I wasn't sure, so I lifted it up again," said witness Frank DiStefano. "Then when I saw the marks on the body and everything, I verified that it was a body. I immediately called 911."

Family members say Jasmine Fiore was last seen at her Fairfax District home on Thursday afternoon. The swimsuit model had recently moved to the area from Las Vegas to open a personal training business.

Jasmine's mother says that she was in Los Angeles last week to visit her daughter.

"Anybody who even sees a vehicle that may resemble this description, we ask that you give us a call," said Officer Faden.

Jasmine's mother says that her daughter has worked as a coordinator for Playboy's "Girls of Golf." She has also modeled for Las Vegas hotels and has done advertising for radio personality Howard Stern.

The Buena Park Police Department is the lead agency in the investigation. They also have an investigative team looking for clues in San Diego.

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