The international manhunt for a reality TV contestant suspected of killing his swimsuit-model ex-wife was over Sunday, as the man apparently hanged himself in a Canadian motel room, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Ryan Jenkins, 32, was suspected of beating and strangling Jasmine Fiore, 28, who lived in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles.
Fiore’s body was found Aug. 15 in a suitcase left in a trash bin in Buena Park. Her fingers and teeth had been removed, and authorities had to identify her with the serial number on her breast implants.
Jenkins and Fiore checked into a hotel in Del Mar on Aug. 13, where they attended a charity poker tournament. Witnesses said the two quarreled at the event and that Fiore was texting another man.
A security camera recorded Jenkins leaving the hotel the next morning alone, and Fiore was not seen alive again.
Jenkins’ black BMW and boat were later found near the Canadian border.
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Sgt. Duncan Pound of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police border integrity unit said Jenkins had been found dead hours earlier in a motel room in a rural town in British Columbia, and that it appeared he had taken his own life.
He said fingerprints were used to determine the body was that of Jenkins.
The Mounties are “now able to confirm that a deceased person that was found in a motel in Hope, British Columbia, is, in fact, Ryan Jenkins,’' Pound said.
“At this present time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life,’' he said.
At a news conference Sunday night, Buena Park police said they were disappointed that Jenkins would not be prosecuted for first-degree murder.
“The sadness of this all is that Mr. Jenkins will not stand before an Orange County jury for his crimes,’' said Lt. Steve Holliday.
“The ring was tightening on him,’' said Tom Hession, chief inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service’s regional fugitive task force. “He obviously was desperate.’'
Authorities said earlier that anyone who helped Jenkins elude capture could be charged with aiding and abetting, and it appeared that Jenkins did have help.
The Vancouver Sun reported that a woman helped Jenkins check into The Thunderbird Motel Thursday and that the motel manager, Kevin Walker, found him hanging by a belt in his room Sunday morning.
According to the Sun, Walker said the woman checked into the motel saying she needed a room for at least three days, and possibly longer, and paid cash through Sunday, as a man waited outside in a silver PT Cruiser with Alberta license plates.
The motel manager told the Sun he saw a man who turned out to be Jenkins walk past his own balcony at the motel, but did not recognize him.
“He didn’t look like the Ryan Jenkins I’d seen on TV,’' he said. “He looked like a man at the end of his rope, not the muscle-bound macho man you saw on TV.’'
He said the man had a sunken face and looked thinner than Jenkins’ photos.
He said there was little activity in the room Friday and Saturday, and that Sunday morning, when no one came to check out by 11 a.m., he went to the room.
“I thought maybe they left the key in the room and just left,’' he said.
After knocking and getting no reply, he opened the door a crack and saw a laptop on the bed.
“As I was pushing the door open, I smelled death,’' he said. “And then, as I kept opening the door, there was death staring at me.’'
He told the newspaper he saw a man “hanging from the coat rack by a belt.’'