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$25K offered in murder of former model

August 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The reality TV show contestant wanted in the death of his ex-wife is still being sought by police. A man suspected of being Ryan Jenkins was taken off a plane in Toronto, but police say it wasn't him.Investigators had believed murder suspect Ryan Jenkins had boarded a plane in Vancouver under an assumed identity. They were tipped off that someone matching Jenkins' description was on the flight.

A SWAT team met the plane at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and stormed the flight. Officers took the man believed to be Jenkins into custody and led off the plane in handcuffs. The man was able to provide enough information and identification to prove that he was not Jenkins.

Jenkins, 32, remains on the run and is believed to be in Canada.

Jenkins, a former contestant on the VH1 reality television show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," is accused of murdering 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore. The former swimsuit model was strangled to death.

Fiore's nude, mutilated body was found Saturday in a suitcase that had been thrown into a trash dumpster in Buena Park. Police said her teeth had been removed and her fingers cut off, apparently in an attempt to make it difficult to identify her. Detectives had to track the serial numbers from Fiore's breast implants to identify her body.

The U.S. Marshals Service approved on Friday a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading directly to Jenkins' arrest.

Authorities believe Jenkins, a native of Calgary, Canada, drove 1,000 miles to Washington, then got into a boat and made his way to Point Roberts, which is at the tip of a peninsula in the northwestern part of the state.

From there, they believe Jenkins dumped the boat and walked across the border into Canada. His black BMW and an empty boat trailer were found in nearby Blaine.

An international manhunt is underway with federal and local authorities in the U.S. working in conjunction with authorities in Canada.

Murder charges were filed against Jenkins on Thursday by the district attorney's office in Orange County. If and when he is arrested, the D.A. wants him held on a $10 million bond.

Fiore was last seen alive a week ago when she and Jenkins checked into a hotel in San Diego. They were at a poker party, where sources reportedly saw the couple arguing.

On Good Morning America, a longtime family friend of Fiore's spoke out, saying the former model was a good person with a promising future.

"I would like people to know that Jasmine was refined, she was kind, she was generous, she was loving, she was friendly to everyone," said Gwendolyn Beauregard.

Fiore's grieving mother and friends were present during a Thursday news conference, where authorities discussed the search for Jenkins.

"Please understand who you are helping leave this country, and we ask for your support to bring Ryan to custody," said Robert Hasman, Fiore's ex-boyfriend.

"Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to Jasmine is unspeakable," he said.

Officials warned anyone who may help Jenkins flee from police.

"Anybody that assists him, helps him in any way, is also subject to being charged as aiding and abetting and harboring a fugitive, so I would suggest to anybody out there that is looking to assist this individual, that they don't," said Chief Inspector Thomas Hession from the U.S. Marshals Service.

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.

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.

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

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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