The investigation of the unsolved October 1 murder of Santa Cruz tech millionaire Tushar Atre may have turned a corner this week as authorities just revealed that "several" arrests have been made in the case.
Pending a Thursday morning press conference, details are scant. According to Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office spokesperson Ashley Keehn, the department is delaying the release of the suspects' names for now, but the department apparently wanted to make a pre-announcement that the arrests had occurred, as the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
In the past several months, the reward offer for details leading to an arrest in Atre's killing has risen several times. Per the Sentinel, "Community members banded together to anonymously offer a cash reward that was increased multiple times for anyone who could offer successful leads in the mysterious killing. The latest reward offering of $200,000 had a July 22 deadline and was the highest in the department’s history."
The reward was previously raised to $150,000 in mid-November when no leads had arisen by that point. The Sheriff's Office released surveillance footage from the evening that Atre was kidnapped showing three individuals skulking toward his house on a darkened street, Pleasure Point Drive. At the time, Atre's friends and family had no idea who might have wanted to kidnap or kill him.
Atre, 50, founded a company called AtreNet Inc. in 1996 that specialized in digital marketing, and he was described in multiple early media reports about the murder as a "tech millionaire." The Sentinel notes that he was born in Germany and raised in New York, and more recently had entered the cannabis industry, co-founding a company called Interstitial Systems.
A witness at Atre's home described the kidnapping that occurred around 3 a.m. on October 1. 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, and that still appears to be the case.