Alleged high-priced prostitute charged in Google exec's death

David Louie Image
ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Alleged high-priced prostitute charged in Google exec's death
A woman accused of being a high-priced prostitute was charged Wednesday in the death of a Google executive.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Police have new evidence that led them to a suspect they call a high-priced prostitute in the death of a Google executive.

Twenty-six-year-old Alix Tichelman appeared in court for arraignment in a red jumpsuit and pink lipstick. Santa Cruz police says she is a high-priced prostitute now linked to the death of Google executive Forrest Hayes. Hayes was found dead on his 50-foot boat, named escape, last December of a heroin overdose.

The criminal complaint charges that Tichelman injected Hayes with heroin and left him to die. Police say it was all captured on video on board the yacht.

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

Tichelman is also accused of removing evidence from the boat in an effort to cover her tracks. Investigators say she and Hayes met on an online dating site. Hayes was married and had five children.

Hayes and his family lived in a large, gated house on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Santa Cruz. Neighbors were reluctant to say anything on camera about the case or about the family.

Neighbors across the street said they never really got to know the Hayes family very well, but they did have parties, especially kid parties, and they did hear music coming over the fence.

A public, online tribute site created when Hayes died in December reflects nothing but praise and respect.

One person wrote, "It was clear to me that his family was his priority. At work he was highly effective, respected and motivational. He had the ability to connect with anyone and had genuine care for everyone around him."

However, by Wednesday evening, the website had been pulled down.

Tichelman remains in jail with bail set at $1.5 million. She faces manslaughter and drug charges, but the district attorney says additional charges could be filed later.

"It's sad about this prostitute who would just leave him. How could she just walk over his body and leave him to die? That's another horrendous thing that people would do that", Bay Area resident Marla Lowenthal said.