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Police: Prostitute sought defense online in death


By KATHLEEN FOODY and TERRY COLLINS
Associated Press

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A high-priced prostitute charged in the overdose death of a Google executive aboard a yacht in California had searched online for how to legally defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin, police in California said Thursday, as authorities in Georgia reopened another overdose case.

Bar owner Dean Riopelle, 53, died of a heroin overdose in September 2013 in Milton, Georgia, about two months before Google executive Forrest Hayes died of an overdose on his yacht. Both had been seeing suspect Alix Tichelman, authorities said.

Milton police Capt. Shawn McCarty said Tichelman, 26, called 911 on Sept. 17 to report that Riopelle, her boyfriend, had overdosed. She told investigators that he had been drinking and using heroin throughout the day, and that she found him on the ground after she got out of a shower.

According to a police report, Tichelman said she tried to revive Riopelle for about five minutes before she called 911. She told police that he had been having a rough time but did not believe he overdosed intentionally.

Suspected Call Girl In Santa Cruz Court On Manslaughter Charges

Riopelle died a week later.

Tichelman has been described as a high-end prostitute by police in California, where she is charged with manslaughter in Hayes' death.

"Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses so there's just several factors we want to look at to make sure that we didn't miss anything," McCarty said.

Just before Riopelle's death, Tichelman had been arrested on a battery charge after he told police that she bit his hand during an argument.

Riopelle had said that the woman took pills before they went to a bar he owned in Atlanta, where she drank, dove off the stage and exposed her breasts. After they returned to his home, they fought. She scratched his face and threatened to hit herself in the face and tell police he had done it, Riopelle said at the time.

In California, police say surveillance video shows Tichelman casually walking over Hayes as he lay dying on his yacht, picking up clothes and heroin and swallowing the last of a glass of wine before lowering the boat's blinds and walking back on the dock to shore.

Hayes was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht last November. Police said the surveillance video from the yacht shows everything that happened from the time Tichelman came aboard to when she left.

Clark said Hayes, 51, had hired Tichelman before, and that their Nov. 23 encounter was a mutually consensual encounter including the introduction of the heroin.

The video shows Tichelman preparing the heroin to a liquid and injecting it into Hayes' arm, Clark said. Shortly after, Hayes started clutching his chest, near his heart, Clark said. Tichelman tries to prop him up, but he then loses consciousness.

Tichelman then starts picking up her belongings, including the needle, and cleans up a counter while stepping over Hayes several times. During that time, Tichelman calmly drinks a glass of wine and surveys the scene, Clark said.

Tichelman then goes outside the cabin of the boat on the dock, looks back inside, then pulls down a window blind, closes a door and leaves, Clark said.

"Never does she call 911 or call out to others in nearby boats for help. She never tries to administer any aid to him," Clark said about Tichelman. "She is more concerned about getting herself out and concealing evidence than helping Mr. Hayes."

Clark said that investigators learned that Tichelman later did online searches "on how to defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin."

Investigators also learned that Tichelman planned to leave California late last month, possibly to Georgia and maybe even the country, Clark said.

Clark said it's not clear if Hayes was a frequent drug user. Clark described Tichelman as a who charged $1,000 and lived in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom.

He said she had other clients from Silicon Valley, home to about 50 billionaires and tens of thousands of millionaires.

Tichelman was arrested on July 4 after police said a detective lured her back to the Santa Cruz area by posing as a potential client at an upscale resort.

Police said Tichelman boasted she had more than 200 clients and met them through a website that purports to connect wealthy men and women with attractive companions. Her clients included other Silicon Valley executives, Clark said.

Tichelman's father has ties to the tech industry. Folsom software firm SynapSense announced hiring her father, Bart Tichelman in 2012. Neither the firm nor her father responded to immediate requests for comment.

She is being held on $1.5 million bail after appearing in court Wednesday wearing red jail scrubs.

---

Collins reported from San Francisco. Associated Press reporters Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz, California, Michael Liedtke in San Francisco, and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this story.

Join the discussion

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lichwala July 10 2014 at 5:40 PM

FOLSOM IS A BIG PRISON COMMUNITY, SHE WON'T BE FAR FROM HOME.

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myidee July 10 2014 at 9:57 PM

It was in the paper that she charged a grand per night to be with the men. And it does list the men as being "good" guys. This guy had 5 kids and a wife named Debbie. A good guy? I don't think so. NO man who is married and screws other women, whether they be pros's or not, is a "good" man. LOL. That's terribly FUNNY. Also the guy whose yacht he rented refused to give up the videos b/c it's HIS yacht and he obviously was recording what went on to use for his own satisfaction (personal porn anyone?). It's a mess, but that's life: one big happy mess, right?

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1 reply
Your Highness myidee July 11 2014 at 1:56 AM

I'd have to partially agree with you.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lv2213frs July 10 2014 at 9:27 PM

Serial killer? Maybe there are others that haven't been tied to her.

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malinda.smith1 July 10 2014 at 9:05 PM

This chick is not only not very nice, she is not very smart.

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philips0811 July 10 2014 at 8:04 PM

Man, if this is high end, what's low end like?

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icampcod247 July 10 2014 at 11:47 PM

People cant seem to figure out why she is high end!
Nerds have low standards!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
itchy1958 July 10 2014 at 10:32 PM

Thats one wicked looking hooker, and no, I dont mean that in a positive way.

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Your Highness July 11 2014 at 2:08 AM

They paint this guy out to be a good loving husband, a good dad, and an all around great family man.
They make him out to be a victim when he was a willing participant in his own filthy vices.
He sure wasn't thinking about his role of loving husband or as dad of the year when he was in the dirties with the drugs and the prostitute.
As for the prostitue? Yeah she should get the jail.
They should add to her jail time just for those horrid eye brows alone..yuck.
That woman is apparantly well pleased with her looks as she was in the habbit of taking many photos of herself. She looks a bit rough already. They are probably not going to let her have her crayons to do her face with.
Being behind bars is not going to be very kind to her treasured looks.

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pmbalele July 11 2014 at 1:36 AM

When shall Repubs and TPs learn that cheating on their wives with prostitutes is dangerous for their health? This is sad news but Repubs and TPs should avoid prostitutes.

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Buck Nakey July 10 2014 at 10:48 PM

Good for her. Another cheating pig husband/father eliminated.

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