MILTON, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned that Milton police are reopening the death investigation of a local club owner who once dated a high-priced call girl now accused of injecting a Google executive with heroin and leaving him for dead.
Alix Tichelman appeared in a California court Wednesday facing drug and manslaughter charges after police said she injected 51-year-old Forrest Hayes with heroin and then left him to die aboard his yacht in California.
Late Thursday afternoon, California investigators confirmed that Tichelman had searched online for how to legally defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin, police in California said Thursday, as authorities in Georgia reopened a similar case.
Milton police confirmed to Channel 2's Mike Petchenik that they are in contact with police in Santa Cruz, California, about the death of that Google executive.
Investigators said Tichelman, who is orginally from Georgia, called police two months earlier to report that she found her then-boyfriend, Dean Riopelle, unconscious on the floor of his home.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner confirms Riopelle died from an overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol.
Channel 2 Action News learned Thursday that Tichelman told Santa Cruz police she gave Riopelle heroin before he died.
According to a police report, Tichelman said she tried to revive Riopelle for about five minutes before she called 911. She told police that he had been having a rough time but did not believe he overdosed intentionally.
Now police want to know what role, if any, Tichelman may have played in his death.
"It's still conjecture, looking at the similarities of the two situations, but obviously we're going to go back and look at it and make sure that everything determined to be correct, almost a year ago, is still factual and still accurate," said Capt. Shawn McCarty with the Milton Police Department. "Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses so there's just several factors we want to look at to make sure that we didn't miss anything."
Tichelman was also arrested for biting Riopelle. Two weeks later, Riopelle died.
Riopelle, who lived in Milton, owned the Masquerade, an Atlanta music venue.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Riopelle was part of a band called Impotent Sea Snakes.
The paper talked to Michael Lacey, who runs the band’s Facebook page. He said that Tichelman and Riopelle had a tumultuous and abusive relationship.
"At first he was really happy. But toward the end, he had a lot of fears of her. He even tried to stop her from going to his own club," said Lacey, 46, who lives in North Carolina.
Riopelle made news in March 2013 when he tried to turn his Milton property into a primate preserve.
Riopelle can be seen in several pictures with Tichelman on her Facebook page.
In 2008, Tichelman attended Georgia State University for two semesters but never graduated.
Tichelman was arrested on July 4 after police said a detective lured her back to the Santa Cruz area by posing as a potential client at an upscale resort.
She is being held in a California jail on $1.5 million bail.
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