Investigators are on the hunt for the suspects who kidnapped wealthy tech executive and cannabis company owner Tushar Atre from his beachside California home and left his lifeless body in an abandoned SUV miles away, according to officials and reports.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Wednesday that Atre’s body had been found in his girlfriend’s abandoned 2008 BMW on Tuesday morning in Soquel – approximately 10 miles away from where he was kidnapped from his Pleasure Point mansion.
His attackers are still on the loose.
Atre, the 50-year-old founder and CEO of AtreNet Inc, was abducted “during a crime” at his home on Pleasure Point Drive in Santa Cruz around 3 a.m. Tuesday, police said. He was last seen leaving the area in the SUV.
Police received a 911 call from witnesses who were present inside the home when Atre was taken, police said. His body was recovered hours later.
Authorities have not specified how he was killed, and only noted that he was taken by more than one suspect.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but we have reason to believe the motive was robbery,” police said. “We would like to let the community know we believe this is an isolated incident.”
In 1996, Atre founded AtreNet Inc, a “boutique web design agency specializing in corporate websites for top Silicon Valley clients,” according to his Twitter page.
He also owns a licensed cannabis manufacturing facility, the City of Santa Cruz told local news station KRON4.
“There’s still a lot of moving parts in this investigation,” Ashley Keehn, spokesperson for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office told the station. “We do know that Mr. Atre was in the cannabis industry. We don’t know if that is connected to this murder."
The reported millionaire enjoyed surfing near his home, playing guitar and spending time with friends, his dogs and his girlfriend, his social media showed.
But a glimpse at the AtreNet’s Glassdoor company reviews indicates Atre could have made enemies.
“CEO is abusive,” wrote one former employee, who claimed to have worked at AtreNet full-time for more than a year.
“Horrible from the top,” another review noted. "Tushar Atre has obviously groveled for or fabricated positive reviews to cover the truth about working with him."
Santa Cruz police had not provided any updates to the case as of early Thursday morning.