Husband of Slain Model Charged With Murder After 'Blow-Out Fight'

Husband hunted in Canada; source details couple's stormy final night on town.

ByABC News
August 19, 2009, 8:00 AM

Aug. 20, 2009— -- A reality show contestant has been charged with a felony count of murder in his ex-swimsuit model wife's death, authorities said, amid an international manhunt for him in the United States and Canada.

The charge against Ryan Alexander Jenkins, 32, came as police revealed grisly new details of Jasmine Fiore's death, and as a person who was with Fiore, 28, told ABC News about the couple's "blow-out fight in front of everyone" in San Diego last Thursday into Friday -- the final night she was seen alive.

"Jasmine was playing poker with a big group of friends at the Hilton Hotel," the source said. "She was being very rude and kept putting Ryan down. It was really awkward. She has a cutting sense of humor. He was getting really angry, and it totally set the tone for the rest of the evening."

The group later moved to the Ivy Hotel for drinks.

"She spent an enormous amount of time in the bathroom on the phone," the source said. "Ryan started asking who she was on the phone with, and she said her mom. It was 12:30 at night, and she was not on the phone with her mom.

"He kept screaming, 'Who were you talking to?'" the source added. "At about 1:30, they went up to their room to continue fighting."

Police said Fiore was strangled and placed in a suitcase that was found Saturday morning in Buena Park, Calif. They added Thursday that her teeth and fingers were removed from her naked body, possibly in an attempt to impede her identification.

Jenkins, a finalist on the pre-taped VH1 reality competition "Megan Wants a Millionaire," called police to report her missing the day the suitcase was found. He has not been seen by authorities since.

Authorities formally named Jenkins a suspect in Fiore's death and issued a warrant for his arrest today -- as the Orange County, Calif., district attorney's office said he had been charged with the felony count of murder.

Investigators believe Jenkins drove more than 1,000 miles from Southern California, quietly slipping into Canada days after he was named a person of interest in the death of Fiore.

Sheriff's officers in Whatcom County, Wash., found Jenkins' car with an empty boat trailer attached. A man matching Jenkins' description was spotted at the tip of Point Roberts, a peninsula in Washington state accessible from the United States by boat and overland from Canada, according to ABC News affiliate KOMO in Seattle.

Authorities believe Jenkins then walked across the border to the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Canadian Constable Sharlene Brooks told The Associated Press that ground, air and canine units were involved in the search for Jenkins.