The search for a tech executive who was kidnapped from his Santa Cruz home has turned up a body.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on social media that deputies had discovered a dead body in the case—although whether the body belongs to 50-year-old Tushar Atre, who was kidnapped early Tuesday morning from his home during the commission of a crime, remains unclear.
“There’s a lot of moving parts right now,” said Ashley Keehn, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, according to KGO.
Atre, a well-known businessman who owns digital marketing firm AtreNet Inc., was kidnapped from his ocean-front home in Pleasure Point around 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning “during a crime,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities were called to the home after someone there called 911 to report a home invasion and kidnapping.
Atre was last seen getting into a white 2008 BMW SUV that it is believed to have belonged to his girlfriend, the local station reports.
“Somebody broke into his house last night and kidnapped him at 3 a.m., we have no idea why, we have no idea who,” friend Christopher Lochhead said on Facebook, according to KPIX. “We need everybody, all of our friends, the entire community to get behind this effort and support our sheriffs department and the FBI and law enforcement in finding Tushar.”
Hours later, at around 10 a.m., sheriff’s deputies found the car and the dead body in a remote area near the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Investigators are not releasing the identity of the body until family members can be properly notified. Authorities believe there was more than one suspect involved in the kidnapping.
The crime has shocked many residents in the area, who say the brutal crime is a stark contrast to the usually peaceful surf town.
“It’s pretty bizarre that a serious crime like this would happen around here,” Santa Cruz resident Brandon Kiel told KGO. “This neighborhood’s great, right here on the point where people surf. … It’s a pretty busy area.”
Other neighbors told KPIX they found the kidnapping “horrifying.”
Authorities have yet to release a motive in the kidnapping.
Atre’s company, Atrenet, provides web design and development needs to high-tech companies in the area, People reports.
The company was founded in 1996, according to the company’s profile on LinkedIn.
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