Search continues for 'person of interest' in death of swimsuit model

An international manhunt intensified Wednesday for a reality TV contestant wanted for questioning in the slaying of his wife, a swimsuit model found inside a suitcase dumped in a Buena Park trash bin.

Citing the killing, VH1 pulled the show off the air.

Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a participant on "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and the self-described chief executive of a Canadian real estate development company, was named by Buena Park police as a "person of interest" in the strangulation of 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore.

Jenkins reported her missing Saturday after they attended a San Diego poker tournament.

Canadian authorities said Wednesday that Jenkins had a previous conviction for assault on an unidentified woman. And in June, Jenkins was charged in Las Vegas with battery against his wife, Jasmine Kinkade-Jenkins, according to court records. (Fiore sometimes used Kinkade as a last name, her mother said.)

Jenkins used his fist to strike his wife in the arm in early April, the records show. They were fighting at a hotel swimming pool when he hit her, a law enforcement source in Las Vegas said. Jenkins is scheduled for trial in December.

Officials stressed that they want only to question Jenkins and that he is a not a formal homicide suspect.

Jenkins operates Skyhomes in Calgary, which sells million-dollar-plus apartments and homes. He is listed as the chief executive on the company website. A spokesman for a property company affiliated with Skyhomes said Jenkins has not been seen in Calgary for three months.

According to an online resume, Jenkins graduated from Calgary's Mount Royal College in 1999 and worked for Townscape Developments from 2000 to 2008. He also lists himself as an investment sales associate for Calgary-based Concrete Equities, a company that has several buildings in bankruptcy.

It was a departure from the image of a successful young man that earned him a spot on "Megan Wants a Millionaire." On the show, a woman dates various men, hoping to land a wealthy bachelor.

Jenkins was also scheduled to appear on the third season of VH1's "I Love Money," which was set to air in January, according to sources with knowledge of the show who were not authorized to speak to the media. In that show, contestants perform various physical and mental challenges, with the winner receiving $250,000.

Fiore's mother, Lisa Lapore, said Jenkins was eager to move forward with his new TV career.

"He was excited about being a star in Hollywood," Lapore said.

Law enforcement sources confirmed that the couple were married in Las Vegas. Lapore questioned the legitimacy of the union. She said they had been together since March and that she was unaware of any significant issues in the relationship.

Fiore lived in a penthouse unit in an apartment building in the 800 block of North Edinburgh Avenue in the Fairfax district with Jenkins and a female roommate, according to a neighbor.

"They were really sweet people," said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.

"We're just in shock," she said. "All of a sudden your neighbor is dead, and he's being chased by the cops."

The neighbor said that when she moved into her apartment about a month ago, Fiore and her female roommate left a note on her door:

"Welcome to the building. We are your neighbors in PH7," the note read. "If you need anything, give us a ring! Or if we are too loud, call us and tell us to shut up."

In announcing that "Megan Wants a Millionaire" would not immediately air, VH1 said in a statement: "Given the unfortunate circumstances, VH1 has postponed any future airings. This is a tragic situation and our thoughts go out to the victim's family."


Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.

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