VANCOUVER — Two grieving mothers have very different opinions at the end of a North American-wide manhunt for the reality show actor accused of killing a former swimsuit model then hanging himself in a seedy B.C. motel.
Ryan Jenkins’ mother, Nada, said she just can’t believe her son killed his ex-wife and that she’s sure the evidence will eventually prove his innocence.
“He was good, he’s kind and we need to clear his name,” she said weeping.
But when asked how that could be done she replied: “I don’t know. I’m sure the evidence will prove it eventually. I’m praying for that.”
Jenkins began by saying she’s having trouble thinking straight and needs counselling to help her deal with what’s happened.
She said “not in a million years” could her son have done what he’s been accused of doing.
Ryan Jenkins, 32, was a young, high-flying Canadian businessman facing murder charges after the mutilated body of his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, was found in a suburban Los Angeles dumpster.
Police found Jenkins’ boat at the Point Roberts, Washington, marina last Wednesday and believe Jenkins slipped across the border illegally.
The manhunt for Jenkins came to an end Sunday with the discovery of his body in Hope, B.C.
Jenkins’ suicide didn’t dampen the rage and grief felt by Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore.
She said Monday Jenkins “took the easy way out” by killing himself. She called him a coward for not facing the consequences of his actions.
Lepore, speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America show, said Jenkins didn’t want to face the consequences of his actions and “that’s how he dealt with it.”
Jenkins became the target of a high-profile international manhunt after California authorities charged him with first-degree murder in Fiore’s grisly death and dismemberment.
He apparently slipped back into Canada last Wednesday and escaped discovery until Kevin Walker, a manager at the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, B.C., found him hanging Sunday.
Walker said the fugitive arrived Thursday with a young woman in a car with Alberta licence plates.
Walker said the woman, driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser, came in alone Thursday night and checked them in, paying cash for three nights’ stay.
“He stayed in the car far, far away from the front of the office,” he said. “I didn’t think nothing of it because it’s just a couple checking in.”
Walker said he never saw the woman again.
He wouldn’t identify her but said police took away the motel’s registration information.
Sgt. Duncan Pound of the RCMP says police have identified the woman, but aren’t saying if they’ve spoken to her or whether she’s in custody.
Pound says investigators believe Jenkins and the woman knew each other and police will consider whether any criminal charges are warranted.