Call girl connection investigated in Ybor club owner's death - FOX 13 News

Call girl connection investigated in Ybor club owner's death

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A high-end call girl charged in the fatal heroin overdose of a Google executive in California is now the focus in the death of an Ybor City club owner.

According to police in Milton, Georgia, Alix Tichelman was with Dean Riopelle, owner of the former Ybor City club Masquerade, when he overdosed on a mix of drugs and alcohol in September.

At the time, his death was ruled accidental, but now police are taking a second look.

"Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses, so there are just several factors we want to look at to make sure we didn't miss anything," said Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty.

Riopelle and Tichelman were dating and living together in Milton at the time of his overdose, according to Riopelle's sister Dee. Tichelman called 911 and told officers her boyfriend was unresponsive and had been on a "bender the last few days," according to a police report.

Riopelle died in the hospital a week later, and an autopsy revealed an overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol killed him.

Tom DeGeorge, who owns Crowbar in Ybor City, remembers the sadness he felt hearing about the death of his friend and former boss, but this latest twist floors him.

"It's tragic," DeGeorge said. "Hopefully the truth comes out, and they find out what happened."

DeGeorge worked for Riopelle at Ybor City Masquerade from 1999 until it closed in 2006, and he credits Riopelle with showing him the ropes.

Most of all though, DeGeorge remembers Riopelle as a big part of the foundation of Ybor City's music scene.

"He was a great boss. He was a great mentor. He was a great friend," DeGeorge said. "I probably wouldn't have a bar of my own (without him) because I learned a lot."


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