Police: Struggle evidence found in Ryan Jenkins' alleged victim's car
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/28/2009
Evidence found inside Jasmine Fiore's car has revealed signs of a violent struggle between her and Ryan Jenkins and allowed police to piece together a timeline of events in the murder of the 28-year-old swimsuit model.
Police discovered spatters and swirls of blood "like finger-painting" on the passenger seat, back seat and rear windshield of Fiore's white Mercedes-Benz that was found on Wednesday abandoned in a West Hollywood parking lot about a mile from the penthouse she shared with Jenkins, Buena Park police Sgt. Roger Powell told reporters during a Thursday news conference, according to The Associated Press.
In addition, detectives also found mud stains, weeds and twigs on the undercarriage of Fiore's car and discovered a letter in the vehicle's glovebox written by the Megan Wants a Millionaire bachelor to Fiore.
While Powell said the letter was written some time ago, he added it provided "more evidence to believe... there was a whole lot of jealousy on his part."
"It all boils down to a domestic violence situation that went way out of hand as a result of jealousy," Sgt. Frank Nunes told The AP.
The new evidence has allowed authorities to piece together a timeline of events in Fiore's murder by using cell phone records, witness accounts, blood and forensic evidence, and surveillance videos at two hotels and at the Los Angeles penthouse the couple shared.
Jenkins and Fiore checked into the hotel L'Auberge Del Mar in San Diego around 6:30PM on August 13 and subsequently attended a poker tournament at the San Diego Hilton.
They were last seen on the morning of August 14 leaving the Hilton's valet parking area, and Fiore was never seen alive again.
Police believe that Fiore was severely beaten and possibly killed during a violent struggle in her car that occurred on August 14 after the couple left the poker tournament. Jenkins then allegedly returned to their first-floor room at the L'Auberge Del Mar through a private patio and stuffed Fiore's body into a suitcase.
While there was no surveillance camera at the hotel, police said at the Thursday news conference that they found blood stains on the patio of the room where the couple stayed at the L'Auberge Del Mar.
Police allege Jenkins then drove the white Mercedes Benz to Corona -- roughly 100 miles from San Diego -- before disposing the body in a Buena Park trash bin and returning to their Los Angeles penthouse around 5PM.
Fiore's body was found on August 15 stuffed inside a bloodstained suitcase by a man who was searching the metal trash bin for recyclables. According to police, her nose had been broken and her fingers and teeth had been removed -- presumably to hinder efforts to identify her.
Fragments of her teeth were found inside the suitcase and authorities used the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify the body. Police are still attempting to locate Fiore's fingertips, her teeth and most of her clothing -- and they believe it could be in Corona.
In addition, the mud stains, weeds and twigs on the car's undercarriage lead police to believe the vehicle was driven off-road at some point.
Fiore was reported missing by Jenkins at a West Hollywood sheriff's station only hours after police had discovered her body, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Jenkins told a deputy that Fiore -- whom he identified as his wife -- had gone missing after running errands and that he hadn't seen her since the night of August 14.
On the morning of August 16, surveillance cameras at the couple's penthouse showed Jenkins leaving and police believe he traveled to Nevada to pick-up his speed boat.
He was subsequently contacted by an LAPD detective on August 17 about the missing person's report he filed. Jenkins claimed he was in Utah and headed to Canada to resolve some immigration issues, according to Nunes.
Jenkins then drove roughly 1,000 miles to Blaine, WA -- where he allegedly dumped his car at a marina and used his speed boat to travel approximately 15 miles to Point Roberts, WA while eluding the pursuit of both U.S Coast Guard and Canadian authorities. A man matching Jenkins' description was seen arriving in Point Roberts on a boat on August 19.
During his travels, police claim Jenkins made "multiple calls" from his cell phone and contacted an attorney at least once. The attorney attempted to persuade Jenkins -- who had already been named a "person of interest" in Fiore's death -- to turn himself in, according to Nunes.
Jenkins was charged with murdering Fiore on August 20 -- the same day he was allegedly checked into the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, British Columbia by a woman who paid $140 cash (Canadian) for a three-night stay before another motel guest saw her leave shortly thereafter.
While authorities claim they know the identity of the woman, they have yet to publicly reveal it.
Jenkins and Fiore were married in March in a quickie Las Vegas wedding, and the relationship was apparently rocky at times -- as he was charged in June with a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence for hitting her in the arm. He was scheduled to be tried in December.
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.
Buena Park police Sgt. Bill Kohanek said believes Jenkins and Fiore remarried sometime between the annulment and her murder.