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Suspects Arrested in Pleasure Point Murder and Kidnapping

Several arrests made in the murder of Pleasure Point resident Tushar Atre

The man found dead in a vehicle in the Santa Cruz Mountains was identified as Tushar Atre, who was kidnapped from his Pleasure Point home about seven hours earlier. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Several suspects have been arrested in the Oct. 1 kidnapping and murder of tech executive and Pleasure Point resident Tushar Atre.

Ashley Keehn of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office says the arrests were made Tuesday and that further details would be released at a press conference at 11am on Thursday, May 21.

Early on Oct. 1, Atre, founder and CEO of web the marketing firm AtreNet, was kidnapped around 2am from his multi-million dollar oceanfront home in Pleasure Point. He was later found dead in a BMW SUV on the 24000 block of Soquel San Jose Road, where he owned property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

According to news reports on KTVU, the arrests were made in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and that the suspects are being held at Macomb County Jail.

In November the Sheriff’s Office released a surveillance video showing three suspects walking near Atre’s home. A group of community members and the Sheriff’s Office rounded up $200,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the case. The reward was the largest of its kind in Santa Cruz County history, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Cleveland said.

A report from the Sheriff/Coroner Jim Hart said the cause of death was from a gunshot wound. Atre, a well-known surfer in the Pleasure Point community and longtime Santa Cruz resident, also operated a cannabis manufacturing business—Interstitial Systems—on Fern Street in the Harvey West area of Santa Cruz.

Detectives believe that three men entered Atre’s residence, then forced him into his girlfriend’s white BMW SUV before driving away. According to previous remarks from Cleveland, the car traveled on East Cliff Drive, along the shoreline, toward 41st Avenue, and drove the entire length of 41st before turning south onto Soquel Drive. The BMW then went up Porter Street and onto Soquel San Jose Road.

Update, May 19, 11pm: A previous version of this story misreported the city where the suspects were arrested.

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