ICE detains woman questioned in overdose death of Masquerade owner

Alix Catherine Tichelman was there as the two men, 2,500 miles apart, overdosed on heroin and died during a two-month period in the fall of 2013.
Alix Catherine Tichelman was there as the two men, 2,500 miles apart, overdosed on heroin and died during a two-month period in the fall of 2013.

It’s been some time — about three years — since folks from north Fulton County have heard the name Alix Tichelman.

CNN said she was a "makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons." When her name is searched on Google, her photo pops up on the right and under that, the descriptor "prostitute" is listed.

Tichelman, 29, is back in the news after being released from a Santa Cruz, California, jail and then being detained by agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In the simplest terms, the woman — who was with Milton resident and Masquerade music club owner Dean Riopelle when he overdosed on heroin in September 2013, which ultimately led to his death — could be deported.

UPDATE: Alex Tichelman ordered deported to Canada

The Bay Area News Group reports that Tichelman, who many in the media referred to as "the Harbor Hooker" or "Call Girl Killer," is a Canadian citizen who was living in the United States with a green card.

She was in the headlines mostly for being with a former Google executive, Forrest Timothy Hayes, in November 2013 when he overdosed aboard his 46-foot yacht. Camera footage from the boat showed Tichelman injecting Hayes with a drug and then stepping over him while holding a glass of red wine. He was found the next morning.

Hayes' death was the subject of an episode of "48 Hours," an investigative news show on CBS.

Tichelman, who attended Georgia State University for two semesters in 2008, was found guilty of felony involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs in 2015 for her role in the Google executive’s death.

"A month after she was sentenced in 2015, ICE sent a hold for Ms. Tichelman. On March 27 of this year, ICE requested we detain her for 24 hours longer than her sentence," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sgt. Chris Clark told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "ICE agents were on hand at 5 a.m. March 29 when Ms. Tichelman was released."

Tichelman had served nearly two years in jail for her role in Hayes’ death, but if and how she may have been involved with the death of Milton’s Riopelle remains unsolved and still under investigation.

The Fulton County District Attorney told Channel 2 Action News and the AJC that the case was “still under investigation” on Wednesday.

Added Milton Police Captain Charles Barstow: “The death of Mr. Riopelle is still an active investigation. At this time, the cause of Mr. Riopelle’s death remains classified as accidental.”

On July 10, 2014, Milton police told the AJC that detectives would review the overdose death of Riopelle after Tichelman gave California police conflicting information. Riopelle's death was ruled accidental and Tichelman was not charged initially.

While being interviewed by Santa Cruz police about Hayes’ death, Tichelman said she supplied Riopelle with heroin, something she didn’t tell Milton police.

Riopelle died at age 53. He was a divorced father of two. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said his death was the result of “heroin, Oxycodone and ethanol toxicity.”

In its segment on Tichelman, “48 Hours” reported that Riopelle had sent her to rehab and bought her an engagement ring.

The AJC reported in 2014 that Tichelman, her younger sister and parents lived in north Fulton County for several years. In 2004, Tichelman attended Northview High School in Duluth for about two months.

Tichelman still has more than 1,100 followers on Twitter. She last tweeted under the handle @AKKennedyxx on May 21, 2013, writing: "My eyes are red red red ...combination of the glitter eyeliner and the medical grade I've been smokin on."

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