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Georgia case reexamined after woman arrested in Google exec's overdose

Georgia authorities review overdose case after woman's arrest in death of Google exec in California

Police in Georgia say they are reexamining the case of a man who died with heroin and alcohol in his system last year after his girlfriend was arrested in California on suspicion of killing a former Google executive with a fatal dose of heroin on his yacht.

Dean Riopelle, 53, collapsed and eventually died last year while 26-year-old Alix Tichelman was in the shower, Milton police Capt. Shawn McCarty told the Los Angeles Times.

Tichelman told detectives she was showering when she heard a “loud crash” and found Riopelle unconscious, police said. The death was ruled accidental and Tichelman was never charged.

But the circumstances were seen in a new light this week when police in Santa Cruz arrested Tichelman in connection with the fatal heroin overdose of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, a former Google and Apple executive, last November.

Tichelman has been charged with manslaughter, multiple drug-related offenses and prostitution in connection with Hayes' death.

Police said she injected Hayes with heroin, then watched him collapse and die. While he lay unconcious on the floor of his yacht, Tichelman allegedly cleaned up the drugs and needles then stepped over his body to finish off a glass of wine before closing the blinds and walking out.

His body was discovered the next day.

Police in Milton, Ga., never closed the case on Riopelle’s death and are now “reexamining the case to make sure that we did not miss anything,” McCarty said.

The new look at the case also comes amid revelations that Tichelman apparently once dated a man who went to prison in Georgia for his role in a similar heroin-related death, according to a comment she posted last year on an Atlanta website.

Judies lead singer Warren Ullom was eventually convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the fatal heroin overdose of a woman in Georgia.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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