Officers are looking for assailants who kidnapped an Indian-American businessman from his beachfront Santa Cruz home early on Tuesday and abandoned his body in a thickly wooded area 14 miles away, reports say.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of Tushar Atre, above, (Photo credit: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office) owner of the marketing and web design company AtreNet, as homicide, office spokeswoman Ashley Keehn said.
According to Keehn, the assailants broke into the home of 50-year-old Atre at Pleasure Point Drive around 3am and took him away in his girlfriend’s white BMW SUV as his guests looked on helplessly.
They alerted the sheriff’s office about the kidnapping.
After hours of search using a helicopter, officers found the getaway vehicle and Atre’s body in a wooded area in his property near Soquel San Jose Road about 14 miles from his home, Keehn said.
It is not clear whether Atre was kidnapped for ransom after a botched robbery.
Atre was a millionaire and his 23-year-old firm had ties with Hewlett-Packard, BuzzLogic, Seagate, Tealeaf Technology, Symantec and VeriSign.
Investigators are also checking whether Atre had any enemies. He ran a cannabis manufacturing company, Interstitial Systems, in Santa Cruz County along with a business partner.
At AtreNet, employees said their boss was very rude and abusive. They called him a “narcissistic jerk.”
However, the surfing community of Pleasure Point spoke highly of him.
Investigators are clueless about why the kidnappers killed him.
Officers have sought surveillance video from the public.
Keehn described the case as an isolated incident.