Slain model's ex-husband has assault record
U.S. network pulls reality show featuring former real estate developer
A former Calgarian being sought by California police in the death of a model pleaded guilty to assault in his hometown three years ago, and was charged with domestic battery in Nevada.
Police in Buena Park, a city southeast of Los Angeles, are looking for Ryan Jenkins, 32, as a "person of interest" in the death of Jasmine Fiore, 28.
A man looking for recyclable materials in a metal trash bin found Fiore's naked body in a suitcase on Saturday morning. Police said she appears to have been strangled.
Fiore's mother, Lisa Lepore, said the couple got married in Las Vegas in March but got the union annulled in May. She said Jenkins convinced Fiore to take him back.
Jenkins reported Fiore missing to the police on Saturday evening. She was last seen with Jenkins at a poker game in San Diego on Friday night, said Lt. Gary Worrall of the Buena Park Police Department.
Worrall said investigators have not been able to contact Jenkins, and they fear he may be headed back to Canada before they can question him.
"We find it suspicious that with all the media coverage that he has not made himself available to us," he said.
Jenkins was charged with assault causing bodily harm in an incident with his girlfriend at the time in 2005. He pleaded guilty to common assault and was ordered to take psychological counselling for domestic violence and treatment for sex addiction, according to court documents.
He was also ordered not to contact the victim or go to her home or workplace.
Court records in Nevada show Jenkins has a court date on Dec. 18 for a trial on a misdemeanor. According to the Orange County Register, Jenkins was charged with battery constituting domestic violence against Fiore for allegedly hitting her "in the arm with his fist."
Reality show contestant
Jenkins moved from Calgary to Los Angeles to appear as a contestant on a reality TV show called Megan Wants a Millionaire.
The show features 17 wealthy men, each with a net worth of more than $1 million, competing for the affections of model named Megan Hauserman. It had aired three episodes by this week, and Jenkins had emerged as a fan favourite on the show's online discussion boards.
"The show completed production at the end of March. Given the unfortunate circumstances, VH1 has postponed any future airings," said the network in a statement on Wednesday.
"This is a tragic situation and our thoughts go out to the victim’s family."
In addition, VH1 pulled Jenkins' biography and photo from the show's website.
Fiore's mother said Jenkins had his eyes on stardom.
"He had stars in his eyes," Lepore said. "He was totally jazzed, like, being a star."
But a relative in Calgary told CBC News that Jenkins is a "very warm and caring person" with a "very innocent personality."
"That's not my Ryan," she said of the current media reports. Jenkins' lawyer has advised the family not to speak with media, she said.
Mount Royal College confirmed Jenkins attended the Calgary school from 1995 to 1999 as an aviation diploma student.
Jenkins said he had an education in aviation, business, economics and meteorology, according to an online resume.
Described variously as a real estate developer and investment banker, Jenkins was a member of the Calgary Real Estate Board until his membership lapsed this April.
Fiore had been a commercial and swimsuit model in Las Vegas and had recently moved to L.A., said her mother.
Police believe Jenkins is driving either Fiore's missing white 2007 Mercedes CLS550, or a black BMW X5 SUV with Alberta licence plate HLY275. Detectives said he may have moved the Canadian plate to the other vehicle.
With files from The Associated Press and Tara Fedun