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Jenkins charged in death of former model

August 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Prosecutors say ex-reality TV contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins has been charged with murder in the death of a former swimsuit model.Police say 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore was strangled, stuffed inside a suitcase and tossed in a trash bin. Her body was found in Buena Park on Saturday.

Investigators said Fiore's teeth and fingers had been removed, presumably to impede authorities in their efforts to identify the body.

Family members and friends of the victim were present a news conference Thursday afternoon. They were distraught and in tears over Fiore's disappearance and murder.

"Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to Jasmine is unspeakable. It's just not right and I appreciate your help," said Robert Hasman, Fiore's ex-boyfriend. "We ask for your support to bring Ryan into custody."

Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Jenkins, Fiore's ex-husband. Police say he may have crossed into Canada.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Department in Bellingham, Washington, reports there may have been a sighting of Ryan Alexander Jenkins trying to make entry into Canada.

A black SUV with an empty boat trailer was abandoned and located in the marina. Authorities said a man matching the description of Jenkins was seen driving a boat into an area known as Point Roberts on Wednesday, and acting suspiciously.

An intense manhunt in underway in cooperation with Canadian authorities. It is believed Jenkins crossed into Canada by foot. An abandoned boat was found in an area where its possible to get into the country by land.

Law enforcement officials say they are intensifying their search for Jenkins.

"There will be no stone unturned and we'll look under every rock for him. He needs to understand that he's now officially wanted," said Thomas J. Hession, U.S. Marshals.

Jenkins, a Canadian citizen, first reported Fiore missing to police on Saturday. He then disappeared. Police believe Jenkins was with Fiore at a poker tournament in San Diego last Friday night.

"Mr. Jenkins, when he made the missing persons report on the victim, stated that it was his wife," said Sgt. Frank Nunes from the Buena Park Police Department. "He's the last person to see her alive."

Jenkins recently appeared on the VH1 reality series, "Megan Wants a Millionaire," where 18 men compete for the affection of a woman. His profile on the show's Web site describes him as an investment banker from Calgary, and police believe he may be headed there.

Fiore had recently moved from Las Vegas to the Fairfax district of Los Angeles until she was reported missing on Saturday. Jenkins and Fiore reportedly met in March when she was dancing at a strip club in Las Vegas, and were married a couple of days after meeting.

Fiore's mother says the marriage was annulled several months later, but that Jenkins was trying to win her back.

Jenkins has had a history of domestic violence both in the U.S. and Canada. He was arrested in Las Vegas in April for allegedly hitting Fiore and is scheduled for trial in December. In Calgary, he was put on probation for pleading guilty to assaulting a woman in 2007.

In Canada, Jenkins friends and former fiance are defending him.

"The guy was a great guy, as far as I knew," said Paulina Chmielecka, Jenkins' ex-fiance. "He was very happy. In our relationship we had our fights -- everyone does. But I would never say, 'Well, he could have murdered someone.' There's no way."

Anyone with information is urged to call Buena Park police at (714) 562-3975.

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