New footage has been released by Santa Cruz authorities in connection with the October 1 kidnapping and murder of 50-year-old tech entrepreneur Tushar Atre which shows three individuals casually strolling onto Pleasure Point Drive where Atre lived, with one carrying a rifle.
"Please take a close look at how they walk, what they're wearing, and their mannerisms," says Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Ashley Keene. The Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in identifying the suspects, six weeks after Atre was found murdered in a vehicle not far from where he was kidnapped. A reward for information that leads to an arrest has been increased to $150,000.
A witness who was at home with Atre on October 1, possibly a girlfriend, said that Atre was abducted around 3 a.m. from the 3000 block of Pleasure Point Drive.
The new video appears to show three men en route to the house on the morning of the kidnapping. Authorities had earlier said they were looking for two suspects.
Atre's body was later found, dead of a gunshot wound, in his 2008 BMW SUV on the 24000 block of Soquel San Jose Road. The original theory in the case was that the motive was robbery.
As CNN reports, Atre's friend Christopher Lochhead wrote in a since-deleted post to Facebook that the suspects broke into Atre's home and "we have no idea why, we have no idea who." "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."
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office initially announced a reward of $25,000 in late October, with monies reportedly put up by private citizens with an interest in the case. The originally announced deadline for claiming the reward was November 30.
Atre founded a company called AtreNet Inc. in 1996 that specializes in digital marketing. He was described in early media reports about the murder as a "tech millionaire."