Mother of man accused in killing swimsuit model believes her son is innocent

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.

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 in an interview Monday 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 a very brief telephone interview 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., about 150 kilometres down the Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver.

But Canadian and U.S. authorities said the investigation into the murder of Fiore is far from over.

New details revealed Sunday suggest a young woman may have helped the former Calgary real estate developer turned reality show contestant while he was on the run.

Jenkins’ suicide didn’t dampen the rage and grief felt by Fiore’s mother Lisa Lepore.

She said Monday that 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 in an interview with The Canadian Press on Sunday. “I didn’t think nothing of it because it’s just a couple checking in.”

Walker said he never saw the woman again.

“I didn’t see her leave but apparently the tenant in No. 1 (next to Jenkins’ room) said she only stuck around for about 20 minutes.”

Walker wouldn’t identify the woman but said police took away the motel’s registration information.

Adam Curt, 19, a motel employee and Walker’s nephew, said Jenkins “looked stressed out,” adding: “He wouldn’t look anybody in the eye.”

Walker said he didn’t recognize the man although Jenkins’ face had been all over the news.

“In no way shape or form did he look like the man on TV,” he said. “He looked spent.”

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