Buena Park police say Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a Canadian national, was last seen with the victim, Jasmine Fiore, a former swimsuit model. Her body was found in a trash bin, stuffed inside a suitcase.

A contestant on a reality TV show was named a “person of interest” by police Tuesday in the case of a 28-year-old swimsuit model whose dead body was discovered stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into a Buena Park trash bin over the weekend.

Buena Park police say they want to talk to a Canadian national who was last seen with Jasmine Fiore last week at her Fairfax district home on Edinburgh Avenue. The man, Ryan Alexander Jenkins, a 32-year-old real estate developer from Calgary, reported Fiore missing Saturday.

Jenkins had been dating Fiore at the time of her death, according to the dead woman’s mother. Fiore’s body was discovered Saturday in a suitcase by a man who was searching a metal trash bin for recyclables in the 7400 block of Franklin Street. Police said it appeared that Fiore had been strangled.

Fiore had recently moved to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. She had worked two years ago as a commercial and swimsuit model, but was recently involved in a career transition, said her mother, Lisa Lapore.

Fiore and Jenkins had left Los Angeles together Thursday and were bound for a poker tournament in San Diego, according to Lapore, who had been staying with her daughter. Fiore left with her suitcase “packed to the gills . . . probably the same one she was stuffed in,” Lapore said.

On Tuesday, Buena Park police said they were still trying to determine the relationship between Jenkins and Fiore, and said there were suggestions that the pair were married in Las Vegas. Lapore said she did not believe that a legitimate marriage had occurred.

Jenkins is believed to be driving Fiore’s 2007 white Mercedes CL S550 with black rims and tinted windows, police said. Buena Park police investigators said the paper license plate that read “Platinum Motors” was replaced with the license plate HLY275, believed to be from Jenkins’ black BMW sport utility vehicle.

Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality show “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” On the show, a woman dates various men, hoping to land a wealthy bachelor. On the show, Jenkins was described as an “investment banker.”

Fiore had recently gotten a real estate license, set up a personal training business with a friend and was pursuing interests that included competing in equestrian events, her mother said.

Lapore said Jenkins had been working on another reality show that was being shot at his home. She said she was unaware of any problems between Jenkins and her daughter.

“They had issues, but I didn’t hear anything extreme,” Lapore said. “I’m worried they had a major blowout. Jasmine is pretty feisty and doesn’t back down easily.”

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times