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Suspect in Fiore slaying evading authorities, officials say

Reality TV contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins, accused in the strangulation of Jasmine Fiore, allegedly led the Coast Guard on a high-speed boat chase, then escaped to Canada.

August 22, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

Ryan Alexander Jenkins, wanted in the slaying of swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore, led authorities on a high-speed boat chase on the U.S.-Canada border Wednesday night, law enforcement sources told The Times.

Authorities tracked Jenkins to a marina in Blaine, Wash., and came upon his car and empty boat trailer, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the ongoing investigation.

The engine of the car was still warm and the U.S. Coast Guard was alerted. A Coast Guard cutter came upon a speed boat several miles off the coast that was believed to belong to Jenkins. Coast Guard officials shone lights on the speed boat and began approaching, the sources said.

The speed boat then fled into Canadian waters, sources said. Authorities there were notified and chased the craft with a helicopter and a boat, but the speed boat crossed back into U.S. waters. The sources said it was believed Jenkins took the boat to another marina in the area, then walked into Canada.

When authorities arrived at that marina, they found fresh footprints they believed belonged to Jenkins, the sources said. Jenkins is still on the run and is now thought to be in or around British Columbia, although a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said authorities there had not confirmed his presence.

The U.S. Marshals Service on Friday put up a $25,000 reward for information leading directly to Jenkins' arrest.

Jenkins, a contestant on a VH1 reality TV show, is accused of strangling Fiore, his ex-wife, sometime last weekend. Prosecutors allege that he removed Fiore's fingers and teeth before placing her in a suitcase and dumping it in a Buena Park trash bin.

Authorities were able to identify Fiore based only on a serial number found on a breast implant, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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