Blonde Woman Identified Who Helped Ryan Jenkins

Ryan Jenkins' mom insists that her son could not have killed Jasmine Fiore.

August 22, 2009, 3:01 PM

Aug. 24, 2009— -- Canadian police have identified the mysterious blonde woman who drove reality TV star and murder suspect Ryan Jenkins to a motel and helped him check in and are trying to determine whether she should be charged with a crime, officials said today.

Jenkins was found Sunday hanging from a coat rack in a Canadian motel room, ending a manhunt following the Aug. 15 discovery of the mutiliated body of his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore.

The body of Fiore, a former swimsuit model, was found stuffed in a trunk with her fingers cut off and her teeth pulled in an apparent attempt to thwart identification of the body.

Jenkins' apparent suicide may have ended the manhunt, but it has not ended the police investigation.

Kevin Walker, the manager of the Thunderbird Motel, told ABC News Jenkins had been at the hotel since Thursday evening when an attractive blonde woman appearing to be in her 20s checked two people into the motel while a man waited outside in a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The woman left after about 20 minutes, Walker said.

Sgt. Duncan Pound of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police held a news conference today to say they have identified the woman who helped Ryan check into the Thunderbird Motel.

Pound declined to identify the woman and said she is not in custody. He did say, however, the RCMP is investigating whether she could face charges for helping Ryan evade police. identified the woman as Jenkins' former fiance, model Paulina Chmielecka. But CTV, a Canadian television station, reports that police officials have ruled out Chmielecka. CTV also contacted Chmielecka, who denied the rumor.

Earlier today, Sgt. William Kohanek of the Buena Park, Calif., police said investigators are trying to determine whether "anyone else may have assisted him either in crime or in escape."

Susan Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney, confirmed the direction of the investigation.

"We're looking into who helped him, if anyone, in California," Schroeder said.

Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas also raised the question today on "Good Morning America" of whether Jenkins had help.

"How does somebody get 100 miles across the border without any vehicles or anything? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are continuing that investigation and I think we'll find that out," Rackauckas said.

"It is a crime to harbor a fugitive or to assist a fugitive," he added. "That part of it is still open."

Kohanek was asked whether Jenkins' parents were considered suspects in aiding his flight. "We are looking at all avenues. We are not looking at them at all as suspects. They have assisted us in our questions and they are not trying to conceal anything from us as far as I can tell," he said.

Jenkins' mother Nada Jenkins told ABC News through sobs that her son was innocent and killed himself in a panic.

"He panicked. I know him. He panicked. I know my son didn't do this," a distraught Nada Jenkins told ABC News. "My son was a good person. He is innocent. My son was a talented creative person. He was a wonderful son. He made Mother's Day very special for me. He's a good boy."

Nada Jenkins said the last time she spoke with her son, he was still in the U.S.

Police have been unable to discover where the murder of Fiore took place.

"We don't know where the original crime was committed. That's a big piece of the puzzle," the sergeant said.

Jasmine Fiore's Mercedes Is Also Missing

Also missing is Fiore's Mercedes.

"We're trying to concentrate on finding her missing Mercedes registered to her," Kohanek said.

Finding Jenkins body hanging in a motel room did not ease the pain or anger for Fiore's mother.

"It's a relief to know that this man is not out there with the possibility of causing harm to other people," Lisa Lepore, Fiore's mother, said of her former son-in-law. "That was a dangerous person. And now we don't have to worry about him, but I feel like he was a coward. He took the easy way out. He didn't want to face the consequences of his actions."

Rackauckas told "GMA" that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will continue to investigate, but his office is "very confident that we know who the killer is. All of the evidence points to Ryan Jenkins without any question. He's the killer here, he's the sole perpetrator of this killing."

Schroeder added, "As far as we're concerned Mr. Jenkins fled California because he knew he was guilty and killed himself because he knew he was guilty. This was swift justice."

Jenkins, 32, is Canadian citizen who became the focus of a nationwide manhunt after police said he fled to his home country when the mutilated body of his wife, a former Playboy model, was discovered stuffed in a suitcase in Buena Park, Calif., just south of Los Angeles, on Aug. 15.

Fiore, 28, had her fingertips cut off and her teeth pulled out, apparently to make it difficult to identify her. Rackauckas called the attempt to obfuscate investigators "an amateur idea."

"I know there is a TV show where there's a predator who did that to a couple of people. I don't know if that's where he got the idea," the DA said.

"There are other ways to identity somebody," such as DNA, he said.

Fiore was subsequently identified during the autopsy by the serial number on her breast implants.

"It's unusual, but it's not unique," Rackauckas said of the method of identifying Jenkins. "That's happened before."

Ryan Jenkins' Body Discovered in Canadian Motel

Jenkins' body was discovered Sunday by the manager of the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, British Columbia, who said Jenkins hung himself from a coat rack.

Local police answered a call regarding a dead body at the hotel, which is east of Vancouver, and after seeing the body called investigators involved in the Jenkins manhunt. Sgt. Duncan Pound of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news conference Sunday that "preliminary evidence suggests that [Jenkins] took his own life."

The discovery of Jenkins' body shocked his friends, who had been hoping against hope that he had nothing to do with Fiore's death.

A source told ABC News that one friend who had grown close to Jenkins after they starred on the reality show "Meagan Wants a Millionaire" was especially distraught by the news. He told the source: "I just couldn't believe he did it. I'm a mess. I'm totally taking that to mean he had a guilty conscience. He was my friend. He wasn't supposed to do something like that. None of us could believe it."

Walker, the manager of the Thunderbird Motel, told ABC News he found Jenkins' body at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, about 30 minutes after checkout time. He opened the door, called out and saw a laptop computer in the room, and when he entered, Jenkins was hanging from the coat rack, Walker said.

"There he was hanging from the coat rack, with a belt, by a belt," Walker said.

The motel manager said he saw Jenkins only once in the parking lot, and he did not appear to be the wanted man.

"He didn't look like the guy on TV," Walker said. "He was very gaunt, very thin looking, very worn looking."

A nationwide provisional warrant was issued for Jenkins' arrest Friday, after his car and boat trailer were found in northern Washington state, and his ski boat was found at a marina in Port Roberts, Wash., walking distance from the Canadian border.

Did 'Blow-Out Fight' Lead to Model Jasmine Fiore's Murder?

Jenkins and Fiore met in March and were married a few days later. According to The Associated Press, the couple annulled the marriage shortly after. Lepore said her daughter realized the marriage was a mistake and had it annulled in May.

Jenkins was arrested in June on domestic violence charges after allegedly hitting Fiore. In 2007, he was also sentenced to 15 months probation on an unspecified assault charge, according to the Alberta, Canada, Ministry of Justice.

Fiore let Jenkins back into her life after the domestic violence incident because she was "a young woman who's in love," her mother said. "She gave him a second chance.

"I think she had a big heart. She wanted to have faith in him," Lepore said. "I'm sure he was very convincing that he would provide whatever she wanted. I think he was a professional con artist. My daughter has never had any people around her really like him."

A source that was with Fiore and Jenkins shortly before Fiore died told ABC News about the couple's "blow-out fight in front of everyone" in San Diego overnight Aug. 13-14, the last 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."

At about 1:30 they left and went back to their hotel, the source also said.

Jenkins, a television contestant who appeared on VH1's "Megan Wants a Millionaire," called police to report that Fiore was missing, but not until hours after his wife's body had been found.

Lepore said she thought Jenkins "was a fake."

"The things that he said and the way he thought never added up to what someone with his background would be like," she said. "I thought he was a scammer. I didn't believe him."

Lepore said she wanted her daughter to be remembered as "a wonderful person."

"She was kind-hearted, she was thoughtful, she was adventurous, she was strong," Lepore said. "She went out of her way to look after her friends and her family. She was a delight. ... She was a shining light. She just had this exuberance and this vibrancy around her. She was a very powerful and beautiful woman."

The family is relieved, she said, not to have to "spend months and months of our life trying to find this person and bringing him to justice. We wanted justice for Jasmine."

ABC News' Bonny Lou Wagner, Abby Tegnelia, Sabina Ghebremedhin, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.