|Ryan Jenkins hanged himself, authorities in Canada say.|
Wanted reality TV contestant found dead in motel
Suspect in slaying of former wife
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A reality show contestant wanted on charges of murder in the gruesome death and mutilation of his ex-wife was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide after hanging himself in a secluded Canadian motel, authorities said.
Sergeant Duncan Pound of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police border integrity unit says police responded to a call about a dead person in Hope, east of Vancouver, and then called investigators part of the massive manhunt for Ryan Jenkins.
The real estate developer and investor was wanted in California on first-degree murder charges after the mutilated body of his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore was found in a trash bin in Buena Park, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Jenkins apparently hanged himself, said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in California, which is contact with Canadian police.
“At this present time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life. Any further details will not be released at this time as this investigation remains in its infancy,’’ Pound said.
Jenkins’s body was found in The Thunderbird Motel on an isolated road on the outskirts of Hope, B.C., at the entrance to the western province’s mountainous interior. Pound said police don’t yet know how long he was at the motel before his body was discovered. Jenkins was identified through fingerprints, he said.
The Thunderbird was surrounded by police with a coroner’s van, said Marc Lojeski who works at a nearby motel.
Jenkins, 32, disappeared last week but his boat was found Wednesday at a marina not far from the US-Canada border south of Vancouver.
Fiore’s teeth had been pulled out and her fingers cut off, apparently to impede her identification. Investigators used the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify her, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
After the US Justice Department issued an extradition request, Canada issued a nation-wide warrant for Jenkins’s arrest. Canadian authorities initially launched a massive border search using helicopters, ground police, and dogs.
Jenkins and Fiore met in Las Vegas in March and they married a few weeks later. The couple separated shortly afterward, but had reportedly recently reconciled.
California authorities said police in Buena Park would continue their investigation to make sure no one else was involved in the killing.
“We continue to believe that Mr. Jenkins was solely responsible,’’ said Emami, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
A phone message left with Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore of Hawaii, was not immediately returned.