Prostitute’s previous connection with another drug-related death reopens investigation

Alix Tichelman, left, 26, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August, right, during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. A Silicon Valley success story turned sordid this week with the arrest of an upscale prostitute who allegedly left Hayes dying on his yacht after shooting him up with a deadly hit of heroin. Hayes, 51, was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht Escape. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler)
Alix Tichelman (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler)

(CNN/KION/KGO/KPIX/WSB) — More details are emerging in the death of a Georgia Google executive and the prostitute he was with is getting another look by investigators.

When Dean Riopelle died from a heroin overdose last September, it appeared to be a tragic accident.

His girlfriend made the call to 9-1-1 and said that the overdose was accidental.

That was the story from Alix Tichelman, and the case was closed. That is, until police in California announced this week that the model turned prostitute had been arrested in connection with the death of Google executive Forrest Hayes, a 51-year-old father of five.

Police say he, too, died of a lethal amount of heroin and that they believe was given to him by the 26-year-old Tichelman.

Georgia authorities re-opened the Riopelle case because the circumstances were too similar to ignore.

In both cases, the individuals seem to have died of an overdose in what appears to be their first time in using heroin.

Alan Vine told CNN’s Erin Burnett he was a friend of Riopelle’s.

“Back when me and Dean used to play music together, I used to smoke weed and I used to party a little bit and he was always saying, ‘dude, that’s not the way to go.'”

Vine said he was shocked to learn of the heroin overdose, given Riopelle’s lifestyle.

Tichelman moved to California, working as a prostitute, and she surfaced in Santa Cruz.

In November, she joined Hayes on his yacht. Investigators say surveillance cameras showed Tichelman doing absolutely nothing to help the distressed Hayes after injecting him with the heroin.

“She’s so callous, that she grabs her wine and walks over his body,” said Dep. Chief Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz Police Department.

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