Las Vegans Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan, bodybuilding champions who have graced the covers of numerous national magazines, gained new titles on Wednesday: murder suspects.

Las Vegas police were hunting for the high-profile couple Wednesday in connection with a body found last week in the trunk of a torched 2003 Jaguar. The 5-foot-8-inch, 250-pound Titus and his chiseled 120-pound wife are both charged in arrest warrants with murder and third-degree arson, according to police.



Authorities have not offered a motive for the killing. Investigators are awaiting DNA results before releasing the name of the victim, but police did say they believe she was a 28-year-old woman who had lived with the couple.

Police found the remains after a trucker on state Route 160 reported seeing a fire on Sandy Valley Road about 4:40 a.m. Dec. 14.

A third suspect in the slaying, 23-year-old Anthony Gross, is jailed in Clark County Detention Center on charges of accessory to murder and third-degree arson, police said.

Titus, 40, is a past place-winner of the international Mr. Olympia competitions, including the 2002 contest held at Mandalay Bay on the Strip.

A former Texas high school wrestler who weighed 140 pounds at that time, Titus has been called "the bad boy of bodybuilding" by some publications as a result of his temper, his strong opinions and a stint in jail.

He stormed off the stage at the 1995 USA Championships in Denver, furious that he had not been picked as the winner, for example.

And he was in jail from 1997 to 1999 as a result of drug conspiracy charges. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that his convictions were steroid-related.

In a past interview posted on Bodybuilding.com, Titus is quoted as saying: "I'm so sick of hearing about natural (steroid-free) bodybuilding. Point is, every sport has athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs. The tragedy of the decimation of an athlete's character and career does not come from using steroids; it comes from the illegality of being caught."

The San Jose Mercury News, writing about a federal steroids probe last year, reported that Titus was one of several pro bodybuilders who had been subpoenaed for possible information. The subpoenas were part of a mounting nationwide effort by authorities and the Bush administration to crack down on the sale and use of steroids in professional sports and beyond. There are no indications that Titus was ever criminally charged as a result in connection with that federal probe.

The 33-year-old Ryan, meanwhile, is a past Ms. Fitness America and Ms. Olympia runner-up and has been on the cover of magazines. Like her husband, she has traveled the world to compete and to appear as a celebrity guest at bodybuilding events. The "tour schedule" on her Web site indicates that she was in the United Arab Emirates' city of Dubai on Dec. 9 and 10, for example.

Online records indicate that Kelly Ann Ryan married Craig Michael Titus in June 2000 in Clark County, and police say they have a home in southwest Las Vegas. Clark County assessor records indicate that since February 2002 a Kelly A. Ryan has owned a 3,034-square-foot home in Spring Valley that now has a value of at least $470,737.

The Bodybuilding.com Web site also includes an article about Titus and Ryan titled "Marriage of Strength," which notes that Ryan was driving a cherry red Jaguar in 2004 when the article was written.

Ryan's Web site notes that she "is now working as a loan officer/consultant for Silver State Mortgage ... anyone interested in coming or relocating to Las Vegas to purchase real estate should contact Kelly immediately."

The phone number listed on the Web site was not accepting incoming calls Wednesday night, and Silver State Mortgage officials could not be reached for comment about Ryan.

Clark County District Court online records indicate that Household Bank sued Kelly A. Ryan in March 2004 and that the case was closed in May 2005, but a Citibank South Dakota lawsuit filed in March 2003 against Kelly A. Ryan is still unresolved.

Anyone with information about Titus or Ryan's whereabouts can contact police

 

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