SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — A woman who has admitted to being a prostitute was arrested Friday in the November heroin overdose death of a Google executive on a docked yacht.
Alix Catherine Tichleman, 26, of Folsom, was booked Friday into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, destruction of evidence and illegal drug charges after detectives posed as a prospective client wishing to pay for sex, according to Santa Cruz police.
Tichleman is suspected of meeting 51-year-old male client Forrest Hayes aboard a vessel docked at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor after connecting with him on seekingarrangement.com, injecting him with heroin and leaving the man after he passed out and eventually died from the drug, Deputy Chief Steven Clark said.
The death was discovered on Nov. 23, when Santa Cruz police detectives were called to the scene of a suspicious death on a yacht parked on a dock in the harbor. They identified Tichleman as a suspect that month after learning she had a prostitution relationship with Hayes, Clark said.
Tichleman boasted in an interview with police to having relationships with more than 200 clients, Bay City News reported.
Detectives recovered text messages and emails exchanged by Tichleman and Hayes, and found out that she had met with him the evening of his death.
The woman supplied heroin to Hayes and injected him with it during her visit, triggering the overdose that killed him, Clark said.
From surveillance video taken on Hayes’ boat, he is seen suffering medical problems and lapsing into unconsciousness in the presence of Tichleman, who failed to assist him or call 911 for help, Clark said.
The suspect instead is seen on the video gathering up the heroin, needles and her other belongings while stepping over Hayes’ body several times.
“She was so callous that she literally stepped over the victim’s body to retrieve her glass of wine and finish her glass of wine as the victim is laying their dying at her feet,” Clark said.
She then drew a window blind to shield the body from view outside the boat.
Police later uncovered another death investigation in a different state involving Tichleman that involved similar circumstances and are continuing to look into that case, Clark said.
Santa Cruz detectives tracked Tichleman’s activities online during the investigation. Fearing that she might flee the area if she learned of their on-going probe, they lured her back to Santa Cruz by posing as a client offering more than $1,000 for sex at an upscale location.
She arrived at the arranged place and time on the Fourth of July and was arrested, Clark said.