Canadian authorities said Friday they were searching for a reality television show contestant who may have crossed into Canada to try to avoid US prosecution for the murder of an American model.
Ryan Alexander Jenkins, 32, was charged in the United States with murder on Thursday after days of being considered a "person of interest" in the gruesome killing of 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore.
The model's mutilated body was found inside a suitcase in a dumpster on Saturday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the west of Canada "has now taken the lead on the Ryan Jenkins investigation," they said in a statement.
However, "the current whereabouts of Mr Jenkins remains unknown," the federal police said.
If arrested in Canada, Jenkins could be extradited to the United States to face charges, but only if assurances are given that prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.
Late Thursday, Canada's Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan told reporters that "police forces are on the lookout with the potential that he might be in this country."
Jenkins, a Canadian who recently vied with 16 other contestants on the VH1 television show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," is now "the subject of an international manhunt," said Tom Monson, police chief in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Police believe he may have crossed the Canadian border from a remote area in northwestern Washington state, abandoning his black 2003 BMW SUV and an empty boat trailer at a boat launch in Blaine, Washington, and traveling over water to Point Roberts, then on foot into Canada.
According to reports, Jenkins' mother Nada lives in Vancouver.
Officials said it was Jenkins himself who reported Fiore missing on Saturday, the day the suitcase was found by a man searching the garbage dumpster for recyclable bottles. He has not been seen since.
Police said Fiore appeared to have been strangled, and revealed at a press conference Thursday that her teeth and fingers had been removed, presumably in a hurried attempt to conceal her identity.
According to court documents, prosecutors are recommending Jenkins be held on a 10-million-dollar bail if and when he is arrested.
Jenkins has at least twice faced criminal charges for violence against women.
In 2006, he received 15 months probation for assaulting his girlfriend in July 2005 and was ordered to undergo treatment for sex addiction.
He was also due in court December 18 to face a misdemeanor charge for allegedly punching Fiore in the arm, according to the Orange County Register.
Fiore and Jenkins had married in Las Vegas earlier this year, after his stint on the VH1 reality show, but according to media reports the marriage was annulled a short time later.
On the show, Jenkins, an investment banker, was one of several men vetted by a woman searching for love and fortune.
In the casting process for "Megan Wants a Millionaire," broadcaster VH1 said it was looking for single men with a net worth of at least one million dollars, and said would-be bride Megan Hauserman "would make the perfect arm candy for any man who can afford her."
VH1 said it was no longer airing the show in light of the investigation.
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