Federal immigration officials have detained a California prostitute after she completed a jail sentence for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the accidental heroin overdose of a Google executive she was entertaining aboard his yacht.
Santa Cruz sheriff's officials confirmed Monday that they turned over 30-year-old Alix Tichelman to the custody of Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on the morning she completed her sentence and was released from jail on March 29.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, citing court records, says Tichelman holds dual citizenship in the United States and Canada. An ICE spokesman didn't return a call Monday seeking federal custody information.
A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge in 2015 sentenced Tichelman to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs. Counting time served before her guilty plea, Tichelman was released after serving about half her sentence, with time off for good behavior.
In November 2013, Tichelman injected Forrest Timothy Hayes with heroin, then left without seeking help when he passed out on the yacht, authorities say. Hayes had hired Tichelman several times before, and they were doing drugs and having sex the night he died, authorities said.
The high-end call girl was arrested eight months after Hayes' death. Santa Cruz police said a surveillance video at the Santa Cruz harbor showed the woman gather her belongings, casually step over Hayes' body, finish a glass of wine and lower a blind before leaving the yacht the night before the body was discovered.
The video also showed Tichelman panicking and attempting to revive Hayes as he slipped into unconsciousness before leaving the yacht, Santa Cruz Deputy District Attorney Rafael Vazquez said.
Santa Cruz Sheriff Sgt. Chris Clark said ICE agents appeared at the Northern California jail to detain Tichelman on her release. Clark said sheriff officials declined to honor an ICE request to hold Tichelman for two days after her release date. Clark said this is the 5th time immigration enforcement agents have appeared at the Santa Cruz County jail this year to detain an inmate being released.