Parents say 'Megan Wants a Millionaire' suitor incapable of murder
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/25/2009
Ryan Jenkins' father feels the son he knew couldn't also be the same person accused of murdering his ex-wife and gruesomely disposing of the body before hanging himself in a secluded Canadian motel.
"If my son was guilty, he was crazy. He was not the boy we knew. The boy we knew was not capable of anything remotely close to this act," Dan Jenkins toldThe Los Angeles Times on Monday.
"You talk to everyone here who knew him before he went down there and they'll talk about a wonderful young man, a thoughtful man."
The Megan Wants a Millionaire bachelor was charged with murder on Thursday in the death of Jasmine 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 Ryan 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.
Dan -- who told The Times his son "would faint at the sight of blood" -- is still unconvinced that Ryan was responsible for the crime.
"Ryan was a fine young man -- he was smart, he was kind, he was sweet, he was innocent," Dan told The Calgary Sun on Monday. "Ryan was a great guy and I'm not at all convinced he did this crime yet."
Dan said he'll need to see more evidence before believing his son was guilty.
"I certainly hope that the California police will continue their investigation into the DNA and all their forensics, and tell us one way or another whether our son was involved with this or not," he told The Sun.
Nada Jenkins -- Ryan's mother -- told The Canadian Press on Monday that she also doesn't believe her son could have murdered Fiore, "not in a million years."
"He was good, he's kind and we need to clear his name," Nada said, adding she's unsure how to go about clearing his name.
"I'm sure the evidence will prove it eventually. I'm praying for that."
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Even before the murder charge was officially filed, Ryan 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 15 miles away in Point Roberts, WA on a boat registered to him on Wednesday.
Despite an adamant denial of "no, no, no" when asked by The Sun if he spoke to Ryan before his alleged suicide, Dan claims he knows how his son was feeling.
"He was terrified and he was alone, because he couldn't call anyone, because all the phones were tapped," Dan told The Sun. "He didn't get to talk to anybody."
Ryan was convicted in 2007 in Calgary for assaulting his girlfriend two years earlier and was sentenced to 15 months probation and mandatory counseling for "psychological/domestic violence/coping skills."
After meeting Fiore in March and marrying her in a quickie Las Vegas wedding, the relationship was apparently rocky at times -- as he was charged in June with a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence for hitting Fiore in the arm. He was scheduled to be tried in December.
Dan described the charges against his son as "silliness" and said he simply pushed Fiore into a swimming pool after a small tiff.
"He felt like it was a police state. People push each other in the pool every Saturday afternoon, and he goes to jail for two days -- that's ridiculous," Dan told The Sun.
"He turns around and his wife's kissing another guy and he grabs her hand and starts walking away, and they're arguing and he just pushes her in the pool. Well, big deal."
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.
If the annulment did occur Dan claims it was at his behest, as he described his son's relationship with Fiore as "hell on earth."
"I advised him 50 times to get out of that relationship," he told The Sun.
"He went to Hollywood and something down there in the last four months, including this girl, just destroyed him. She would take off for days at a time and lie, and Ryan was lonely and distraught and alone down there. She was his only friend and she'd just disappear."