SANTA, CRUZ CALIFORNIA – An alleged high-end prostitute who is accused of injecting heroin into a Google executive on his yacht and leaving him to die after he overdosed appeared in court Wednesday on criminal charges including manslaughter, prostitution, destroying evidence and transporting a controlled substance.
Alix Tichelman, 26, in handcuffs and a red jumpsuit, did not enter a plea and was appointed a public defender. She is being held on $1.5 million bail and is to return to court on July 16 for her next hearing at Santa Cruz County Superior Court in California.
Surveillance footage from the yacht shows the man, Forrest Timothy Hayes, suffering “medical complications” and passing out after being injected by Tichleman, Santa Cruz police said.
The video then shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, and step over the 51-year-old victim’s body to finish a glass of wine before leaving Hayes’ 50-foot (15-meter) yacht, Escape.
Police said Tichelman did not provide first aid or call emergency authorities.
“Ms. Tichleman proceeds to gather her belongings including the heroin and needles,” police said in a release. “The video also shows Ms. Tichleman stepping over the victim’s body several times as she is gathering her belongings.”
Investigators said she lowered a window blind while leaving to hide Hayes from view.
His body was discovered the next morning by the boat’s captain, police said.
Police are also investigating Tichelman in connection with a similar incident in another state, Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said. He did not elaborate.
“There’s a pattern of behavior here where she doesn’t seek help when someone is in trouble,” he said.
An obituary in the local newspaper, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, said Hayes had worked at Silicon Valley tech firms Sun Microsystems and Apple before taking a position at Google.
The city of Santa Cruz is a beach community south of San Francisco in Northern California.
Hayes was described as a family man inclined toward humor and impulsive purchases.
Tichelman’s attorney, Diana August, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Assistant District Attorney Rafael Vazquez said authorities are still investigating the case and may file more serious charges.
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 and reaching agreement on a price of more than $1,000.
Tichleman is a high-priced call girl who had an “ongoing prostitution relationship” with Hayes, police said.
Police said Tichelman, who boasted she had more than 200 clients, met her clients through the website SeekingArrangement.com, which purports to connect wealthy men and women with attractive companions.
Her clients included other Silicon Valley executives, Clark said.
A visit to the site on Wednesday found a promise that a “Sugar Daddy” can find “Sugar Babies” for “upfront and honest arrangements with someone who will cater to your needs.”