A former Google executive is thought to have died after a high-class prostitute gave him a fatal dose of heroin during a liaison on board his 50-foot yacht.
Alix Tichelman, 26, was arrested by police in Santa Cruz, California on 4 July and later charged with the manslaughter of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, a father of five who had worked as an engineer for several companies including Google, Apple and Sun Microsystems.
The incident took place in November 2013, when Mr Hayes and Ms Tichelman met at his yacht in a Santa Cruz harbour. Police say security footage from the yacht shows Ms Tichelman injecting Mr Hayes with a dose of heroin.
He appeared to suffer a bad reaction to the drug, and quickly became unconscious. According to a statement from Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark, Ms Tichelman could be seen casually collecting her possessions as Mr Hayes lay dying.
“The video shows the victim suffering medical complications and going unconscious,” Clark said. “Rather than provide first aid or call 911, Ms Tichelman proceeds to gather her belongings including the heroin and needles.
"The video also shows Ms Tichelman stepping over the victim’s body several times as she is gathering her belongings. At one point, she steps over the body to finish a glass of wine. Finally, she leaves the boat and reaches back in to lower the blind and conceal the victim’s body from outside view.”
Ms Tichelman grew up in Georgia and moved to California to work as a model and make-up artist, according to her Facebook page. She and Hayes allegedly met via the website Seeking Arrangements, which offers to introduce wealthy “sugar daddies” to younger, female “sugar babies”, who can expect to “indulge in shopping sprees, expensive dinners and exotic travels” paid for by their clients. The website claims to have at least 3 million members.
During interviews with police, Ms Tichelman boasted of having more than 200 clients, who often paid her $1,000 per rendezvous. On 30 June she wrote on Facebook that she intended to drive home to Georgia the following week. Police lured her back to Santa Cruz by posing online as a prospective client, and arrested her before she could leave California.