An admitted prostitute was arrested Friday in the November heroin overdose death of a Santa Cruz man on a docked yacht, Santa Cruz police said.
Alix Catherine Tichleman, 26, of Folsom, was booked Friday into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, destruction of evidence and illegal drug charges after detectives posed as a prospective client wishing to pay for sex, according to police.
Tichleman is suspected of meeting a 51-year-old male client aboard a vessel docked at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, injecting him with heroin and leaving the man after he passed out and eventually died from the drug, Deputy Chief Steven Clark said.
The death was discovered on Nov. 23, when Santa Cruz police detectives were called to the scene of a suspicious death on a yacht parked on a dock in the harbor. They identified Tichleman as a suspect that month after learning she had a prostitution relationship with the victim, Clark said.
Tichleman was working as a high-priced outcall prostitute using the website SeekingArrangement.com and boasted in an interview with police to having relationships with more than 200 clients, according to police.
Detectives recovered text messages and emails exchanged by Tichleman and the victim and found out that she had met with him the evening of his death.
The woman supplied heroin to the man and injected him with it during her visit, triggering the overdose that killed him, Clark said.
From surveillance video taken on the victim’s boat, he is seen suffering medical problems and lapsing into unconsciousness in the presence of Tichleman, who failed to assist him or call 911 for help, Clark said.
The suspect instead is seen on the video gathering up the heroin, needles and her other belongings while stepping over the man’s body several times. At one point, she stepped over the body to polish off a glass of wine, police said.
She then drew a window blind to shield the man’s body from view outside the boat.
Police later uncovered another death investigation in a different state involving Tichleman that involved similar circumstances and are continuing to look into that case, Clark said.
Santa Cruz detectives tracked Tichleman’s activities online during the investigation. Fearing that she might flee the area if she learned of their on-going probe, they lured her back to Santa Cruz by posing as a client offering more than $1,000 for sex at an upscale location.
She arrived at the arranged place and time on the Fourth of July and was arrested, Clark said.
Comment Advisement We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.