Jasmine Fiore's missing Mercedes has helped police make more sense of her death.
Which, according to Buena Park Police Sgt. Frank Nunes, resulted from "a domestic violence situation that went way out of hand as a result of jealousy."
The car, which was discovered yesterday in a Trader Joe's parking lot in West Hollywood, had a great deal of blood in it and investigators believe that Fiore was viciously attacked inside the vehicle, Buena Park Police Sgt. Bill Kohanek told reporters Thursday evening.
The inside of the car had been wiped down and the outside was recently washed, but there was blood spatter in the back of the windshield and evidence that someone had suffered significant blood loss in the back seat, Kohanek said.
They'll never be able to determine for sure, however, if that's where she died at the hands of her ex-husband, Ryan Jenkins, whom police believe strangled Fiore, cut off her fingers and pulled out her teeth (postmortem) to make her body unidentifiable, and fled to Canada. Authorities tracked him to a British Columbia-area motel, where he was found dead last Sunday, having apparently hanged himself with a belt.
That was eight days after Fiore's body was found in a Buena Park trash bin.
Investigators also found dirt and weeds crusted in the undercarriage of the Mercedes, Sgt. Kohanek said, indicating that Jenkins took the car off-road at some point, perhaps to dispose of Fiore's fingers and teeth.
Of course, police didn't piece everything together solely by looking at the car. Using all of the evidence collected so far, including witness statements and phone and financial records, authorities have assembled this timeline:
• Jenkins and Fiore checked into the San Diego-area L'Auberge Del Mar hotel on Aug. 13.
• The couple was seen getting into her Mercedes at 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, after attending a charity poker tournament at the Hilton in San Diego. Some witnesses said they were arguing and Fiore was texting. It was the last time she was seen alive.
• Jenkins left the hotel alone at 9:20 a.m. Police later found bloodstains on the patio adjacent to their room.
• Phone and financial records place Jenkins near the 91 and 15 Freeways (Orange County-bound) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.—the time during which police suspect he went off-road.
• Witnesses saw the Mercedes pulling into the Buena Park apartment complex where Fiore's body was dumped at about 3:30 p.m.
• Fiore's body was discovered at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15. Police said her body "easily fit in the suitcase" that held her remains.
• Jenkins reported Fiore missing Saturday night, after which he drove to Las Vegas in his BMW SUV, where he picked up his speedboat and towed it to Washington.
• He attempted to use his boat to cross over the Canadian border, but police believe Jenkins ultimately ran from Port Roberts, Wash.
• His BMW and a boat trailer were found abandoned in the border town of Blaine, Wash., on Aug. 19.
• Authorities discovered Jenkins dead of an apparent suicide on Aug. 23.
As far as what occurred between him and Fiore in those final hours, the police say we'll never know.
Kohanek said there was no sign of sexual assault on her body, and he characterized the crime as "a case of domestic violence that went awry."
Investigators are "very confident," he said, that Jenkins, who checked into the motel in Canada with the help of his half-sister, didn't have anyone aiding and abetting while he was in California.
"We haven't uncovered any information that he had any help," Kohanek said.
Turn your attention to a far more benign crime—taste assault!—in our Fashion Police gallery.