VANCOUVER, B.C. - The manhunt for fugitive murder suspect Ryan Jenkins came to an end Sunday when his body was found hanging by a belt from a clothes rack in a British Columbia motel room.
But Canadian and U.S. authorities said the investigation into the murder of his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore - a former swimsuit model whose naked, mutilated corpse was found inside a suitcase in a suburban Los Angeles dumpster - 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.
Kevin Walker, a manager at the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, B.C. where Jenkins' body was discovered, said the fugitive arrived Thursday with a young woman in a car with Alberta licence plates.
Walker wouldn't identify the woman but said police took away the motel's registration information.
It was an abrupt, and for authorities a disappointing end to a murder case with bona fide Hollywood connections and a story arc like an episode of "CSI."
Jenkins, a young, high-flying Canadian businessman courted B-list fame in a third-tier American reality show.
He married the beautiful model, then was accused of gruesomely killing her and dismembering her to foil identification.
After a headlong flight to the Canadian border, eluding hundreds of police on land and water, he committed suicide in the small-town B.C. motel that became his last hiding place.
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 Thunderbird Motel manager Kevin Walker found him late Sunday morning.
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. "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 went to check the room Sunday, when they were supposed to have checked out. He knocked on the locked door, got no answer, so he used his pass key to get in.
With his first glimpse through the partly open door, Walker saw a laptop computer and other things spread across the bed.
"Upon opening the door completely, he was there hanging from a coat rack."
Investigators from the RCMP's border integrity unit identified Jenkins using fingerprints.
"At this time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing but preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life," said spokesman Sgt. Duncan Pound.
Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office that charged Jenkins, said it appeared he died sometime Sunday.
Michelle Beck, who lives near the motel, said people who stay there are "kind of seedy - lots of drugs addicts and people down on their luck."
Walker said the 25-unit motel has a number of long-term residents and is in the process of being converted to a "sober, independent-living complex."
Jenkins, 32, had been living in the United States since going down to participate in a VH1 reality show called "Megan Wants a Millionaire."
He apparently met Fiore, 28, in Las Vegas around that time and married her after a two-day romance.
However, Fiore's mother said the relationship was troubled and her daughter had the marriage annulled.
However, there were no court records of an annulment in either Nevada, where the couple was married, or in Los Angeles Count, where they most recently lived.
Jenkins, who was convicted of assault in Calgary in 2007 and given 15 months probation, was charged in Nevada with domestic battery involving Fiore.
She and Jenkins had apparently reconciled and were seen checking into a posh San Diego hotel on Aug. 13. It was the last time Fiore was seen alive.
Jenkins checked out the following day and later reported her missing, then disappeared himself.
Around the same time, police in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, found Fiore stuffed in a suitcase in a dumpster, naked, with her fingers and teeth removed. She was identified using the serial numbers of her breast implants.
Jenkins' SUV with a boat-trailer were found last Wednesday at a launch ramp at Blaine, Wash., near the Canadian border.
His boat was later found in a marina in nearby Point Roberts, Wash., where it's an easy walk into Canada along an unguarded beach or through a residential area.
Jenkins, who up to then had been wanted as a person of interest in the murder, was charged Friday with Fiore's death. A Canada-wide warrant was issued at U.S. request.
Walker said he saw little of Jenkins during his stay and what he did see gave no clue he was the supposedly dangerous fugitive Canadian and U.S. police were desperately seeking.
"I seen him on Friday afternoon walk past my balcony," said Walker. "But he did not look like the man that was shown on TV."
Jenkins seemed smaller, thin and worn out, said Walker.
"He looked like he was a man at the end of his rope, pardon the pun," he said.
Pound said Jenkins' next of kin have been notified of his death.
Jenkins' mother, Nada Jenkins, lives in Vancouver, and his father, noted architect and sometime business-partner Dan Jenkins, lives in Calgary.
Ermami said it's unfortunate the hunt for Jenkins ended this way.
"Not only did the victim's family lose their loved one in a really brutal way - she was murdered and dismembered - but now the person who was charged with murdering her has avoided taking responsibility by apparently committing suicide," she said.
"So the family is going through a really terrible time right now and our hearts really go out to them."
Police on both sides of the border had warned against anyone trying to help Jenkins elude them.
Dan Jenkins said he had been interviewed by police and an exasperated Nada Jenkins, Ryan's mother, told The Canadian Press earlier Sunday she was under surveillance.
"Hah! They're on my tail all day. I'm in contact with them constantly," she said before hanging up.