SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced it has arrested “several suspects” in connection to the kidnapping and murder of a Santa Cruz tech executive, Tushar Atre.
The suspects’ names have not been officially released by the Sheriff’s Office. According to jail inmate records, three men were booked into the Santa Cruz jail on murder, robbery, and kidnapping charges Tuesday: Joshua James Camps, 23; Kurtis Charters, 22; Stephen Nicolas Lindsay, 22. All three men are currently in custody and being held without bail.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ashley Keehn declined to confirm to KRON4 if the three men are connected to Atre’s homicide or a different murder case.
Atre was kidnapped by three assailants from his oceanfront Pleasure Point house on Oct. 1, 2019. He was forced into his girlfriend’s white BMW SUV and was driven to a second property he owned in the Santa Cruz Mountains where he operated a cannabis manufacturing facility, Interstitial Systems.
Just hours after he was kidnapped, Atre was found shot to death in the BMW in the 24000 block of Soquel San Jose Road. Atre was wealthy and most well known for his successful tech company, AtreNet. He was also an avid surfer.
Sheriff Jim Hart is holding a press conference Thursday morning to release more information.
On Wednesday, Atre’s girlfriend Rachael Edith posted a photo on Instagram of herself with Atre and captioned it, “#tusharatre beautiful inside and out.”
During the seven months leading up to the arrests, investigators released surveillance video showing three people — one carrying a duffel bag and another carrying a rifle — walking on East Cliff Drive toward Atre’s home. He was kidnapped in the middle of the night. (Watch the surveillance video above).
The victim’s family and friends raised a $200,000 reward to motivate someone to come forward and help identify the killers. The reward is the largest in the county’s history.
Atre’s friends are convinced the kidnapping-robbery was connected to his cannabis business. One of Tushar’s friends told KRON4, “He made a strong impression. He was a very good businessman. There is a shady, underside of the cannabis industry.”