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Google exec overdose: Prostitute tied to two heroin deaths, police say

Hear audio from a 911 call with Alix Tichelman at the bottom of this post.

An alleged prostitute who California prosecutors say administered a fatal dose of heroin to a Google executive on his yacht and then failed to call 911 in November  had waited five minutes before calling for help after her boyfriend also overdosed two months earlier, according to a recently released Georgia police report.

Alix Tichelman, 26, was taking a shower at the home of her boyfriend, Dean Ripolle, on Sept. 17, 2013, in Milton, Ga., when she “heard a crash” and came out of the bathroom to find the 53-year-old Riopelle lying on the floor unconscious, according to a police report released to the Los Angeles Times.

“She said he did not appear to be breathing at first, but gasped for air as she tried to wake him,” the police report said.

Tichelman told police she attempted to wake Riopelle for approximately five minutes, "then called 911,” the report added.

In the California case, Santa Cruz police Deputy Chief Steve Clark told The Times he did not believe Tichelman intended to kill Hayes -- a Google executive who also worked at Sun Microsystems and Apple -- but that administering heroin was likely “part of her routine.”

DOCUMENT: Incident report for Dean Riopelle's death

Tichelman pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Santa Cruz to manslaughter, destroying evidence and several other charges after prosecutors alleged that she deliberately failed to call 911 for help and instead packed her drugs and walked out.

Security video from the yacht purportedly shows Tichelman preparing a dose of heroin and injecting Hayes with it. He is then seen having a severe reaction to the dose, collapsing and losing consciousness before Tichelman steps over his body to leave, police have said.

Given the alleged circumstances of what took place on the yacht, police in Georgia said they were reexamining Riopelle's death just two months earlier.

In the Georgia 911 call, a distressed Tichelman described Riopelle's condition after answering questions about her location and phone number.

“Umm, I don’t know, I think my boyfriend overdosed or something, like he won’t respond,” she said, according to a tape of the call. “And he’s just laying on the ground, I don’t know.”

Tichelman then hung up.

The dispatcher called her back and said she needed to ask Tichelman some questions.

She described Riopelle's eyes as being open, but then said, "No, he’s not awake."

Tichelman then told the dispatcher that Riopelle was “breathing on and off” and that she was positive he had overdosed because “there’s nothing else it could be. I know that for a fact.”

She said the overdose was accidental and that Riopelle had taken painkillers despite drinking a lot.

When asked if the painkillers were prescribed to Riopelle, Tichelman responded -- still in a panicked voice choking with emotion -- “Oh, I don’t know, you’re asking the wrong questions.”

Tichelman then thanked the dispatcher after being told help was on the way and can be heard yelling at Riopelle to wake up and reassuring him: “You’re going to the hospital babe. It’s going to be fine.”

After hearing Tichelman talk to Riopelle, the dispatcher again asked if he was awake.

“No, not really," she responded. "Yeah, he’s breathing, like he’s not .… I don’t think he’s going to die. He scared me.”

The recording then ended, and two more calls by the dispatcher went unanswered.

Riopelle was taken to a hospital but was taken off of life support by his family about a week later, according to an obituary in the Atlanta blog Creative Loafing.

Officers confiscated Tichelman’s cellphone, a gram of heroin and two pieces of drug paraphernalia, according to a police report. 

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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