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Prostitute charged in overdose death

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A Silicon Valley success story turned sordid this week with the arrest of an upscale prostitute who allegedly left a Google executive dying on his yacht after shooting him up with a deadly hit of heroin.

Forrest Hayes, 51, was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht Escape last November. At the time, a simple obituary described him as a beloved husband and father of five who enjoyed spending time with his family and on his boat.

On Wednesday, that got a lot more complicated as Alix Tichelman, 26, of Folsom, stood handcuffed and mumbling in red jail scrubs facing manslaughter charges for her role in Hayes’s death, as well as drug and prostitution charges. She is being held on $1.5 million bail.


Surveillance footage from the yacht shows everything, police said, from when she came aboard until after Hayes collapsed. That’s when Tichelman picked up her clothes, the heroin, and needles, casually stepping over Hayes as he lay dying, police said. She swallowed the last of a glass of wine and walked back on the dock to shore, police said.

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said on Wednesday that Hayes had hired Tichelman before and their Nov. 23 encounter ‘‘was a mutually consensual encounter including the introduction of the heroin.’’

Clark said it’s not clear if Hayes was a frequent drug user. Clark described Tichelman as a high-end prostitute, who lived three hours away and charged $1,000.

Associated Press