As of 3pm (PST) today, Ryan Jenkins has gone from forgettable VH1 reality TV contestant to the prime suspect in the murder of his wife Jasmine Fiore. Though Jenkins had previously been categorized only as a person of interest, a warrant for his arrest has now been issued.
In documents released by TMZ the former Megan Wants a Millionaire contestant was named as the sole suspect in Fiore's death, which the papers believe occurred on or about August 14th. Fiore's naked body was discovered naked and stuffed in a suitcase in Orange County last weekend. According to details announced today, Fiore's teeth and fingers had been removed before her body was dumped. There is a $10 million bail out on Jenkins and his wanted poster describes him as "armed and dangerous." Authorities believe he may be armed with a handgun.
Authorities and the family of Jasmine Fiore held a press conference at 4pm (PST) in Buena Vista, California to discuss the change in charges. There, authorities said that they believe Jenkins may have escaped into Canada, with the help of family and friends. Yesterday, a vehicle and boat belonging to the suspect were discovered in Blaine, Washington -- which sits on the Canadian border. Authorities are still looking for a second vehicle belonging to Jenkins, a white Mercedes Benz. At the press conference a representative of the US Marshall's took the podium to give a message to Jenkins: "He needs to understand that he is officially wanted. And that we won't stop looking for him." He also warned family and friends from aiding and abetting Jenkins, noting that they too would be charged with felonies if they did so.
After the authorities detailed the charges against Jenkins, Robert Hasman, a family friend and Jasmine's ex-boyfriend took the podium to speak for the family. He said, "Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to Jasmine is unspeakable." He closed his remarks asking for the support and cooperation of Jenkins family bringing him in to custody.
Before the gruesome details were released, Megan Hauserman, who just last weekend we saw on a date with Jenkins on her abruptly canceled TV show, had this to say about Ryan Jenkins. "He was always very nice and kind to me. This is something I would never expect from him. He would be the least likely person I would ever expect to do something like this. He was so nice... He was always really calm and collected." We imagine (and hope) the latest details have Hauserman seriously wondering about her judge of character.
It certainly seems to have 51 Minds, the production company in charge of casting and filming Megan Wants a Millionaire, wondering exactly how a man with a violent past who possibly murdered his wife made it through their "thorough vetting process." Here is the statement:
"51Minds was not aware of Ryan Jenkins' record when it cast him on "Megan Wants A Millionaire." Obviously, if the company had been given a full picture of his background, he would never have been allowed on the show.
The company did have in place what it thought was a thorough vetting process that involved complete background checks by an outside company for all contestants on its shows. Clearly, the process did not work properly in this case."
We will continue to follow this story as new information arrives.