By Sam Cooper, The Province August 26, 2009
As the family of Ryan Jenkins prepares to bury the alleged killer, they now have to come to terms with another shock — that his half-sister may have been the elusive woman who checked him into a Hope motel.
Citing multiple sources, CTV News reported Tuesday night that the RCMP are speaking with Alena Jenkins.
RCMP Cpl. Norm Massie would neither confirm nor deny that Vancouver-based Alena Jenkins is the woman who helped Ryan Jenkins check into Hope’s Thunderbird Motel Thursday.
RCMP said Monday they had identified the woman who helped Jenkins pay for the room — a woman described as a pretty blond in her 20s driving a silver PT Cruiser with Alberta plates.
Canwest News Service has learned that Jenkins’s father, Calgary architect Dan Jenkins, owns a PT Cruiser.
Sources with access to Alberta vehicle records told Canwest News Service that a silver 2001 PT Cruiser is among several vehicles registered under Dan Jenkins’s name. It’s unclear if it’s the same car.
Neighbours at Dan Jenkins’s home in Calgary said the vehicle had been stored in his condominium’s parkade for an extended period of time — but had recently been moved.
A woman screening calls to her Coal Harbour apartment and cellphone Tuesday told The Province Alena Jenkins was with family.
The 19-year-old is a model, photographer and poet specializing in "beauty, boudoir and fashion-accessory photography." An online profile says she started shooting travel photography at age 16.
Her mother, Karen Jenkins, lives in Point Roberts, just "across the line" from Tsawwassen and from where the fugitive Jenkins is believed to have made his way into B.C.
Jenkins, 32, was charged with killing and mutilating his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore in California before hanging himself in the motel room.
Speculation had previously mounted that the woman who aided him may have been his former fiancee, Calgary model Paulina Chmielecka.
Massie said Tuesday that privacy reasons prevent him from saying whether Chmielecka is the mystery woman, but RCMP and U.S. police are "satisfied [the blond woman] did not enter the United States" to aid Jenkins in any way.
Motel manager Kevin Walker said the blond woman and Jenkins arrived in a PT Cruiser with Alberta licence plates. Walker has said Chmielecka resembles the woman he saw Thursday. An Alberta property-record search shows Chmielecka has a 2008 model BMW X5.
A spokesperson for the Calgary model agency that represents Chmielecka refused to comment on whether she was involved in delivering Jenkins to the Hope motel.
Police expect it to take a few days before they can say if charges of obstruction of justice or mischief can be pursued against the woman.
Jenkins’s mother defended his innocence Tuesday, and sympathized with Fiore’s family.
"My condolences to Jasmine’s family," Nada Antic, who lives in Vancouver, said in a telephone interview with Global BC.
"I’m sure they’re going through the same thing we’re going through. It’s heartbreaking."
Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian police are continuing to investigate whether alleged killer Jenkins had an accomplice. Police in California are focusing on a missing crime scene, believed to be murdered model Jasmine Fiore’s white 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL S550.
"We are confident that no one else was involved in the homicide, but the question is, did [Jenkins] have any help?" Sgt. William Kohanek of Buena Park police said Tuesday. "Did someone drive the car away?"
Kohanek said it’s believed Fiore’s killer removed her fingers and teeth in the Mercedes, and police wonder whether the killer had help disposing of evidence.
Kohanek said police are searching waterways and airport parking lots within a 12-hour drive of San Diego, where Jenkins and Fiore were last seen together.
Fiore’s naked body was found in a suitcase dumped in a trash bin in Buena Park Aug. 15. She had been strangled. On Aug. 14, Fiore and Jenkins were at an upscale Del Mar hotel.
Fiore’s friends are pouring out their grief online and defending her memory.
In an e-mail to The Province, Patrisha Elbeck, a friend who knew Fiore through working on Playboy’s "Girls of Golf" in 2004, said Fiore was "a wonderful and kind friend," who "adored" Playboy boss Hugh Hefner, and was not a stripper, contrary to media reports.
"She had done an audition photo shoot for Hef over two years ago but she was never in the publication," Elbeck wrote.
Elbeck added that Fiore kept in touch with all her former boyfriends, simply because she was a good person.
"It was a running joke that she called all her boyfriends husband."
Kohanek said police believe the Fiore murder was likely "severe domestic violence" related to rage or jealousy, but it may not have been a crime of passion.
"We don’t know if there was premeditation, but we’re very intrigued with the unusual amount of effort [the killer] put into concealing the crime."
Police are still reviewing communications records for both Fiore and Jenkins, Kohanek added.
Jenkins, 32, and Fiore, 28, married in March, then had the marriage annulled — but had apparently reunited.
— with a file from Katie Mercer
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