The reality TV star accused of killing his model ex-wife was driven to hang himself because she "was haunting him," the mother of the slain swimsuit beauty said.
Ryan Jenkins, 32, was found dead in a suburban Vancouver motel room on Sunday, ending the search for the millionaire at the center of an international manhunt in the grisly slaying of model Jasmine Fiore.
"I'm relieved he's not going to hurt anybody else now, but I'm still angry," Lepore told the News. "I'm absolutely furious that he took the life of such a creative soul with such a magnificent future."
Jenkins, described as a con man and a player wanna-be, came off as a smooth, confident professional when he first met Fiore, a voluptuous blonde bombshell, at a Las Vegas club in March.
Two days later, the pair was married in a quickie wedding.
"He had stars in his eyes," Lepore said yesterday. "He was totally jazzed, like, being a star."
The aspiring model and actress may have become enamored with the polished professional after a streak of hard luck, landing low-budget jobs like dealing cards at the Palms' Playboy Club or working as a cocktail waitress on the Strip. It was a gamble for which she paid the ultimate price.
Fiore's naked body was found on Aug. 15 stuffed in a suitcase that had been tossed in a dumpster. Jenkins removed her fingers and pulled out her teeth to make identifying the corpse more difficult, cops said.
She was identified by the serial numbers on her breast impants.
"If my son was guilty, he was crazy. He was not the boy we knew. The boy we knew was not capable of anything remotely close to this act," Jenkins' father, Dan, told the Los Angeles Times.
But law enforcement officials say Jenkins was driven to hang himself from the clothes rack in a closet in room 2 at the Thunderbird Motel because the guilt of the brutal murder weighed so heavily on him.
"He killed himself because he knew he was in fact guilty and he knew the authorities were closing in," Orange County district attorney Susan Schroeder told the News.
A blonde woman who may have helped Jenkins escape is now being sought by cops. It is believed she checked into the motel with Jenkins.
"This man was a professional con man," Lepore told the "Today" show yesterday. "He targeted women I believe. He wanted to be something and he wasn't," she said.
Fiore's ex-boyfriend, also speaking on "Today," said he was in contact with the model via text message before her death.
"I was happy that he killed himself," Robert Hasman said.
Jenkins, a real estate developer and investor from Canada, claimed he had between $1 million and $2.5 million in assets on the show. VH1 is no longer airing the show in light of the investigation.
VH1 canceled "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and also pulled the plug on "I Love Money 3," which included Jenkins as a contestant. The show features ex-VH1 reality alumni competing for buckets of cash and was likely to air sometime in 2010.