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Reality TV Contestant Wanted in Bikini Model's Death

(AP Photo)
Undated photo of Ryan Alexander Jenkins released by the Buena Park Police Department.

BUENA PARK, Calif. (AP) Ryan Alexander Jenkins, who is wanted for questioning in the death of his former wife, exuded so much confidence on the reality TV show "Megan Wants a Millionaire" that other contestants took to calling him "Smooth Operator."

Photos: Jasmine Fiore, Bikini Model Murder Photos

After taping for the VH1 series finished, Jenkins met Jasmine Fiore in Las Vegas casino in March and the two soon got married, said Fiore's mother, Lisa Lepore.

But in May, "they had a big blowout," Lepore said. "She had the marriage annulled."

Police said Wednesday that they want to question Jenkins, 32, as a "person of interest" in the death of his 28-year-old ex-wife, a former model. Police also said Jenkins might be headed to his native Canada.

Fiore's nude body was found over the weekend stuffed into a suitcase in a Buena Park trash bin.

"At this point, he's merely a person of interest, simply because of the suspiciousness of his disappearance. We can't find him," Buena Park Lt. Gary Worral said.

At least one actor who appeared on "Millionaire" with Jenkins at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills was shocked by the latest developments and remembered a suave bachelor who grew in confidence as taping progressed.

Jenkins earned the nickname "Smooth Operator" because of "his cheeky cockiness. And I mean that in a friendly way," said Rob Locke, who played the host, a butler named Niles.

"We were all under the impression that he was single. Then I saw on Facebook that he got married and there were photos of him and his wife. My personal observation was, 'Wow, that was quick,"' Locke said, adding that taping ended in March.

Fiore's mother said her daughter and Jenkins had been fighting after a quickie Las Vegas wedding, and that he was jealous of her ex-boyfriends.

Court records show that Jenkins was charged in June in Clark County, Nev., with a misdemeanor count of "battery constituting domestic violence" for hitting Fiore in the arm and will be tried in December.

Jenkins also has a criminal history in his hometown of Calgary, Canada. He was sentenced to 15 months of probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge, according to the Alberta, Canada Ministry of Justice. No further details were available.

Neal Tomlinson, a partner at the law firm representing Jenkins in the Nevada case, declined to comment and declined to say if his firm was representing Jenkins in the current matter.

Fiore was last seen alive with Jenkins at a poker game in San Diego. Jenkins reported her missing Saturday night to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, police said.

It's still not clear how Fiore died, although a preliminary coroner's report indicated she was strangled.

Jenkins, variously described as an architect, real estate developer and investment banker from Calgary, appeared in three episodes of the series "Megan Wants a Millionaire," about a woman seeking to land a wealthy bachelor by putting suitors through their paces, such as designing a marketing campaign for her pet Chihuahua.

On the show, Jenkins was identified as an investment banker who had a couple million dollars.

A resume posted on the professional networking site LinkedIn.com says Jenkins graduated from Mount Royal College in Calgary in 1999, has a license to fly commercial airplanes and worked in investment sales and as president of a boutique development company focused on cutting-edge green technologies.

Fiore and Jenkins got married in Las Vegas on March 18, according to a Clark County marriage certificate.

(CBS2/KCAL9)
Photo: Jasmine Fiore.

It was a spontaneous marriage and by May, Fiore had the marriage annulled because "she didn't trust him because he was doing (things) behind her back," Lepore said. She declined to say what the incident involved.

Jenkins then went to Mexico to do another reality TV show, but struggled to get Fiore back when he returned. It was not immediately clear which show he appeared on.

"He convinced her during that month that he was really the guy for her," Lepore said. "He wrote poems and stories, and prayed, and (claimed he) had this huge spiritual awakening."

VH1 said in a statement Wednesday that it has postponed any future airings of the show. The statement also said that the show was an outside production licensed to VH1, but that it was produced and owned by 51 Minds Entertainment.

A message left at 51 Minds was not returned.

Photos: Jasmine Fiore, Bikini Model Murder Photos

FULL COVERAGE ON CRIMESIDER

August 23, 2009 - Wanted for Bikini Model Murder, Reality Star Ryan Jenkins Commits Suicide
August 21, 2009 - Murdered Model's Ex Boyfriend Calls Reality Star on Run an "Animal"
August 21, 2009 - Ryan Jenkins, Reality TV Star on the Run
August 21, 2009 - Police: Killer Removed Bikini Model's Teeth and Fingers
August 20, 2009 - Reality TV Contestant Wanted in Bikini Model's Death
August 19, 2009 - Murdered LA Swimsuit Model Found Stuffed in Suitcase

  • Edecio Martinez

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