VANCOUVER — As the RCMP focus their investigation on a mystery woman who reportedly drove former reality show actor Ryan Jenkins to the motel where he killed himself, his parents and the mother of the ex-wife he is accused of killing in California began confronting their grief.
“Not in a million years,” a weeping Nada Jenkins, who lives in Vancouver, said in a brief telephone interview.
“He was good, he’s kind and we need to clear his name. . . . I’m sure the evidence will prove it eventually. I’m praying for that.”
Jenkins, 32, a Calgary real estate developer who moved to the United States to appear on a VH1 reality TV show, had been facing first-degree murder charges after Jasmine Fiore’s mutilated body was found in a dumpster in suburban Los Angeles.
It’s believed he snuck into Canada at Point Roberts, Wash., a small American enclave only accessible by land through Canada, and checked into a motel in Hope, B.C., east of Vancouver, on Thursday.
The manhunt ended when motel staff opened Jenkins’ room Sunday to find him hanging from a coat rack.
Jenkins’ father said his son died frightened and alone.
“He was terrified and he was alone, because he couldn’t call anyone, because all the phones were tapped,” Dan Jenkins told the Calgary Sun. “He didn’t get to talk to anybody.”
He told the LA Times he believed his son had fallen in with the wrong people since he left Calgary.
Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore, said she still has a long way to reach peace, but Jenkins’ death is a step along that path.
“It brings some closure to what’s been going on,” Lepore told NBC’s “Today” show.
“We don’t have to worry about looking for him anymore or being worried that he is a threat to any other women or men.”
But the story is far from over, as police in the United States and Canada continue to piece together the details of Fiore’s death, Jenkins’ subsequent journey into Canada and finally his suicide.
The RCMP said they had identified the woman who dropped Jenkins off at the Thunderbird Motel, but said little else about who she is or how exactly she fits into the case.
The motel manager has said Jenkins was dropped off by a young woman driving a car with an Alberta licence plate.
The woman came into the front office alone and paid cash for three nights while a man stayed in the car, said Kevin Walker.
Shortly after, Walker said, the woman left.
Sgt. Duncan Pound wouldn’t say Monday if investigators had spoken to the woman — who they believed knew Jenkins — or whether she was in custody.
“The specifics of how we’re going about the investigation, the details of speaking with her, we don’t want to discuss at this time,” Pound told a news conference in Hope.
Pound said police will consider charges of accessory after the fact to Jenkins’ illegal entry into Canada, but because Fiore’s death occurred in the U.S., Canadian police can’t lay charges connected to that crime.
He suggested American prosecutors might be able to pursue charges of their own, but he didn’t elaborate.
Prosecutors in Orange County, Calif., couldn’t be reached for comment.
An autopsy was conducted in B.C. on Monday, and preliminary results appeared to confirm Jenkins’ death was a suicide.
“The findings continue to be consistent with a self-hanging,” said Jeff Dolan of the B.C. Coroners Service.
“We are awaiting toxicology results, but we’re not expecting our findings to change.”