Prostitute Accused of Killing Silicon Valley Exec on Yacht in Santa Cruz Harbor: Police

A woman police describe as a high-end prostitute is charged with manslaughter after allegedly injecting heroin into a tech executive on his docked yacht in Santa Cruz and leaving him to die when he overdosed.

The suspect, Alix Catherine Tichelman, was arrested last week on suspicion of murder charges. In Santa Cruz County Court on Wednesday, she was charged with seven crimes - including drug and prostitution counts - but not murder.

Tichelman's public defender refused comment. Her bail has been set at $1.5 million and she will wait for a week before entering plea.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Tuesday that surveillance video from the boat shows 51-year-old Forrest Timothy Hayes losing consciousness.

Investigators said the 26-year-old from Georgia made no effort to help Hayes, and instead gathered her belongings and even gulped a glass of wine before leaving.

Hayes's body was discovered the next day.

Tichelman was taken into custody last week after being lured back to Santa Cruz County in a prostitution sting. Detectives, posing as a potential client, lured her to an upscale location with a promise of an excess of $1,500.

Police say Tichelman provided heroin for Hayes, a Google executive, while they were aboard the 50-foot yacht.

According to Hayes's obituary, he was a married father of five who had worked as an engineer at Silicon Valley tech companies, including Google, Apple and Sun Microsystems.

Hayes's obituary describes him as a "loving husband and father."


"More than anything else he enjoyed spending time with his family at home and on his boat. His brilliant mind, contagious smile, and warm embrace will be missed and cherished in memories by his friends and family.," Hayes's obituary says.

Police said that Hayes had an ongoing pay-for-sex relationship with Tichelman, but that relationship came to an end last November on his yacht in the small boat harbor in Santa Cruz.

According to police, Tichelman meets her clients through the "sugar daddy" site

Surveillance video from his vessel shows Tichelman meeting Hayes on board and it captures the crime itself when she allegedly injected him with a lethal dose of heroin, police say.

"So cold and callous was she that she stepped over the victim's body several times, one time to retrieve a glass of wine and finish the contents of the glass of wine while she's cleaning up her property, cleaning up evidence of the crime there," Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said.

According to court documents, Tichelman was involved in a similar case out-of-state in the past year, in which a so-called “boyfriend” overdosed and died.

"It shows that she's done this before,” NBC Bay Area legal expert Steven Clark said. “She knows what the potential results are… She's had someone die."

Police are not releasing any details of that second case yet.

NBC affiliate KSBW reported that Tichleman lives in the Sacramento area and came from an upper-class Georgia family.

Her Facebook page said she is an artist at ULTA Beauty. The page has seen been removed from the social networking website.

It appears Tichelman expressed excitement about mass murders in a Facebook post last month.

A post from the time attached to her name read "It's really nice to talk with someone about killing sprees and murdering people in cold blood...and they love it too. no judgement. yay!"

Another post on July 1, citing Georgia's controversial "guns everywhere" law says:

"Yes!! can't wait to have my carry/conceal be valid again. Going back to GA next week."

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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