Santa Cruz police: High tech mogul murdered by prostitute

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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Santa Cruz police say a Bay Area high tech mogul was murdered on his yacht by a high-priced prostitute.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- A high-priced prostitute is accused of injecting a man with a lethal dose of heroin and then leaving him to die on his luxury yacht.

The victim was 51-year-old Forrest Hayes who was a Silicon Valley executive. Police say he was murdered by 26-year-old Alix Tichelman.

People at the Santa Cruz Harbor thought Hayes' death was caused by a suicidal overdose until the details of this case emerged.

Sailing instructor Max Murray said Hayes' yacht was "a really big, nice boat. It's a nice power boat. It was a very nice power boat."

People at the harbor only knew the owner of the luxury yacht, "The Escape," died onboard from an overdose last November. However on Tuesday the real story emerged.

Santa Cruz Police Dep. Chief Steve Clark said, "We eventually uncovered the video that was available."

Police say they watched surveillance video of Hayes, the former senior director of Apple's worldwide operations, as he was injected with heroin supplied and administered by Tichleman.

Hayes was working on "Google X" at the time of his death. Police say Tichelman never tried to help him or call 911.

Clark said, "She was so callous that in gathering her things, she was literally stepping over the body and at one point stepped over the body to grab a glass of wine and finish the glass of wine."

Tichelman's finger prints were discovered on the wine glass, and on July 4 police posing as a potential client lured her to a hotel where they arrested her.

Clark said, "She was incredibly callous and non-caring about the state of the victim in this particular case and we feel that warrants the second-degree murder."

Police say Tichelman is also being investigated for a similar death in another state.