Motel: Accused 'Megan' murderer Ryan Jenkins checked-in by woman
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/24/2009
Authorities are currently searching for a woman who allegedly helped Ryan Jenkins elude police by checking him into a secluded Canadian motel after he was charged with murdering his ex-wife.
The Megan Wants a Millionaire bachelor was checked into the remote British Columbia establishment on Thursday evening by an unknown woman who paid cash for a three nights' stay, according to Thunderbird Motel manager Kevin Walker, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Jenkins was found dead on Sunday after allegedly hanging himself in the motel.
Walker described the woman as blonde, in her early twenties and "naturally pretty, one of those wholesome little ladies," according to The AP, adding the pair pulled up in a Chrysler PT Cruiser with tinted windows and license plates from Jenkins' native Alberta.
"He stayed in the car far, far away from the front of the office. I didn't think nothing of it because it's just a couple checking in," Walker told The AP, adding he didn't recognize Jenkins -- whose picture was plastered all over television as a suspect in the murder of Jasmine Fiore.
"In no way shape or form did he look like the man on TV. He looked spent."
Walker's nephew Adam Curt -- who works at the Thunderbird Motel -- agreed that Jenkins "looked stressed out."
"He wouldn't look anybody in the eye," Curt told The AP.
Walker added he never saw the woman again after she initially checked Jenkins in on Thursday evening.
"I didn't see her leave, but apparently the tenant in No. 1 (next to Jenkins' room) said she only stuck around for about 20 minutes," he told The AP.
Once Jenkins failed to check out at the scheduled time, Walker said he unlocked the room and found Jenkins.
"I cracked the door and there he was, hanging there in front of me, feet touching [the floor]," Walker told The AP. "He definitely wanted to die. I smelt death."
Jenkins was charged with murder on Thursday in the death of Fiore -- a 28-year-old swimsuit model whose body was found August 15 stuffed in a suitcase in a Buena Park, CA trash can.
Police alleged Jenkins removed Fiore's teeth and fingers prior to disposing of her body, presumably to hinder efforts to identify her, however authorities used the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify the body. A preliminary coroner's report showed Fiore was strangled.
Jenkins became the focus of an extensive manhunt on the U.S. and Canadian border after his car and an empty boat trailer belonging to him were found abandoned at a marina in Blaine, WA and a man matching his description was seen arriving in Point Roberts, WA on a boat registered to him on Wednesday.
The Thunderbird Motel is located roughly 100 miles from Point Roberts in Hope, British Columbia.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, whose office is prosecuting the case, told Good Morning America during a Monday morning interview that he is "very confident" Fiore was killed by Jenkins, stating "all of the evidence points to Ryan Jenkins without any question."
"There's no indication that he had any help in committing the murder. All of the evidence clearly indicates he's the lone perpetrator of this horrible murder. But whether or not he might have had some help later on, particularly once he got into Canada and thereafter..." said Rackauckas.
"At this point, the Canadian Mounted Police are continuing to investigate all of the matters around the scene of the death of this defendant, Ryan Jenkins. The Buena Park Police will continue the investigation in California just to sort of wrap up whatever the loose ends might be... We don't want to close the books until it's completely finished."
Jenkins and Fiore were married in a quickie Las Vegas wedding in March after he had finished filming Megan Wants a Millionaire, which had billed him as a "smooth operator" with a personal net worth of $2.5 million.
While Fiore's mom Lisa Lepore has previously claimed the couple had the marriage annulled in May, there are no court records of an annulment in either Clark County, NV, which is where they were married, or in Los Angeles County, where they most recently lived.
Lepore said during a Monday interview on Good Morning America that she had "mixed feelings" upon learning about Jenkins' apparent suicide.
"It was a great relief that we weren't going to spend months and months of our lives trying to find this person and bring him to justice. We wanted justice for Jasmine," said Lepore.
"But I feel like he was a coward and he took the easy way out. He didn't want to face the consequences of his actions, and that's how he dealt with it."
In addition, Lepore said her daughter had "a big heart" and wanted "to have faith" in Jenkins despite the fact that he had been charged with allegedly hitting Fiore in June.
"She was willing to take that risk. I'm sure he was very convincing that he would provide whatever she wanted," said Lepore. "he was a professional con artist, and my daughter has never had any people around her like him."
Earlier this summer, Jenkins also traveled to Mexico to film I Love Money 3 -- another VH1 reality show produced by 51 Minds Entertainment, the same production company behind Megan Wants a Millionaire.
After stating that it had not yet decided the show's future on Friday, VH1 canceled I Love Money 3 on Sunday. The show -- which Jenkins had boasted about winning -- had been scheduled to premiere in January.