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International manhunt intensifies for reality TV show contestant sought in model's slaying [updated]

August 19, 2009 | 10:45 am

Authorities in the United States and Canada intensified their search today for a reality TV show contestant named by police as a "person of interest" in the case of a 28-year-old swimsuit model whose dead body was discovered stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into a Buena Park trash bin.

The dragnet is centered on Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a 32-year-old real estate developer from Calgary, Canada. A source close to the investigation said Jenkins married swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore in Las Vegas a few months ago and reported her missing on Saturday.

Jenkins operates Skyhomes in Calgary, which sells million-dollar-plus apartments and homes. He is listed as the CEO on the company website. A spokesman for a property company affiliated with Skyhomes said Jenkins has not been seen in Calgary for three months.

Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire." On the show, a woman dates various men, hoping to land a wealthy bachelor. On the show, Jenkins was described as an "investment banker." Sources said Jenkins had recently signed on with a second reality show.

Buena Park police say they want to talk to Jenkins, who was last seen with Fiore last week at her Fairfax district home on Edinburgh Avenue.

Fiore's body was discovered Saturday in a suitcase by a man who was searching for recyclables in a metal trash bin in the 7400 block of Franklin Street. Police said it appeared she had been strangled.

Fiore had recently moved to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. She had worked as a commercial and swimsuit model but was recently involved in a career transition, said her mother, Lisa Lapore. Fiore had recently gotten a real estate license, set up a personal training business with a friend and was pursuing interests that included competing in equestrian events, her mother said. 

Fiore and Jenkins had left Los Angeles together Thursday and were bound for a poker tournament in San Diego, according to Lapore, who had been staying with her daughter.

[Updated, 11:15 a.m.: VH1 issued the following statement today: "Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on 'Megan Wants A Millionaire,' an outside production, produced and owned by 51 Minds, that is licensed to VH1.  The show has completed production. VH1 is cooperating fully with the authorities on this matter."]

-- Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton and Ari B. Bloomekatz