The California technology executive who was kidnapped Tuesday from his beachside home is dead, according to authorities.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that a body found just hours after 50-year-old Tushar Atre was forcibly taken from his home at around 3 a.m. was that of the missing executive.
“This is still an ongoing investigation, but we have reason to believe the motive was robbery,” the sheriff’s office said.
Shortly before 3 a.m. authorities said multiple assailants broke into the tech executive’s oceanfront home on Pleasure Point Drive and forcibly kidnapped him, driving off in his girlfriend’s 2008 BMW SUV, SF Gate reports.
Someone who had been in the home at the time, presumably his girlfriend, called 911 to report the kidnapping, according to KTVU.
Just a few hours later, authorities found the SUV and Atre’s dead body on a road near the summit in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Investigators are now examining evidence at both crime scenes as they try to piece together who targeted the 50-year-old and why.
“They’re investigating pretty much everything,” Ashley Keehn, a spokeswoman for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office told KTVU. “Looking for evidence, anything that can lead us to exactly what occurred.”
Atre was the founder and CEO of AtreNet, a web design and marketing company.
His friend Robert Blumberg told local station KPIX that Atre had also started a cannabis manufacturing company known as Interstitial Systems about a year ago.
As news of the executive’s death spread, many of his friends took to social media to remember their slain friend.
“I am heartbroken beyond words at the loss of Tushar Atre, one of my oldest, dearest friends,” Brent Brookler wrote according to the station. “I will always love you.”
His LinkedIn page also boasts glowing reviews from former clients of his web design business, calling Atre “one of a kind.”
However, another unidentified friend told KPIX that Atre may have made enemies during his business deals.
Atre and his company Atrenet were also the subject of harsh criticism in reviews on Glassdoor, with some calling him abrasive and abusive, SF Gate reports.
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