(Reuters) - Police in California have arrested a woman they described as a high-priced prostitute who is suspected of murdering a man by injecting him with a fatal dose of heroin on board his yacht in a Santa Cruz harbor, authorities said.
The Santa Cruz Police Department said security camera footage from the yacht showed Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, failing to help the 51-year-old victim after he fell unconscious in November 2013.
“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 a blind and conceal the victim’s body from outside view,” police said in a statement on Tuesday.
Authorities say Tichelman became a suspect after it was learned she had a sex-for-money relationship with the victim.
In their initial statement, police did not identify the man, but in a follow-up on Wednesday they named him as Forrest Hayes. They said his family did not want to talk to media at this point.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper, which first reported the arrest, identified Hayes as a Google executive and said he was survived by a wife and five children.
The police department said Tichelman was a high-priced prostitute who met clients online and boasted in interviews of having more than 200 client relationships.
Police said detectives were investigating another case with similar circumstances involving Tichelman in a different state but gave no details.
She was arrested in Santa Cruz on the July 4 holiday after being contacted by an officer posing as a potential client, police said. She agreed a price in excess of $1,000 and was detained when she arrived at “an upscale location.”
Tichelman was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for second-degree murder, destruction of evidence and transporting and providing narcotics.
Police said her surname was initially reported as Tichleman, and that was how it appeared in jail logs. On Wednesday they corrected the spelling to Tichelman.
Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Bill Trott and Gunna Dickson