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Man accused in death of model Jasmine Fiore hangs self near Vancouver, police say [Updated]

August 23, 2009 |  9:11 pm

The international manhunt for Ryan Jenkins, the man suspected of killing his ex-wife, model Jasmine Fiore, ended Sunday evening in the woodsy tourist town of Hope, British Columbia, when a hotel employee found him dead of an apparent suicide.

Authorities said the former reality television contestant hanged himself.

"At this present time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life," Canadian officials said in a statement.

[Updated at 9:14 p.m.: Buena Park police confirmed in a brief news conference tonight that Jenkins was dead. But officials said their investigation into Fiore's death and matters surrounding it would continue.

"The sadness for us is that Mr.Jenkins will not stand before an Orange County jury for these crimes," said Lt. Steve Holliday.]

Jenkins led authorities on a sprawling chase last week, first driving north in a black BMW SUV, then eluding U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officers as he raced toward the border in a speedboat. That boat was discovered in a marina across the border from Vancouver, where Jenkins, a Canadian national, was believed to have family.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police were combing British Columbia for Jenkins.  Authorities allege that Jenkins killed Fiore, removed her fingers and teeth, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and dumped it in a Buena Park trash bin.

The Orange County district attorney’s office said 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore, a former swimsuit model, was last seen Aug. 13, when she and Jenkins went to an upscale Del Mar hotel together. Fiore and Jenkins had married earlier, then had the marriage annulled but were still dating. Jenkins checked out of the hotel the next morning, apparently alone, according to prosecutors.

The 32-year-old Jenkins appeared to be leading a glittering life, calling himself an investment banker when he was a contestant on the television reality show “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” But he ended his life in a decidedly less than glamorous setting, in a drab rundown motel that rented rooms by the month.

The case has raised questions about the vetting process of reality shows. According to Canadian authorities, Jenkins had a previous conviction for assault. In June, he was charged with battery.

-- Andrew Blankstein in Buena Park, Julie Cart and Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Getty Images / AP

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