After media sources figured it out via publicly available records, the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office on Thursday held a press conference identifying a a trio of young twentysomething men from Lancaster, in LA County, along with a fourth man in Michigan, as suspects in the October 1 kidnapping and murder of tech executive turned cannabis entrepreneur Tushar Atre.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel identified three of them, prior to the press conference, as Stephen Nicolas Lindsay, 22; Joshua James Camps, 23; and Kurtis Charters, 22. They were being held this week in Santa Cruz on felony murder, kidnapping and robbery charges in the killing of 50-year-old Atre — who was found dead of a gunshot wound in his own vehicle last October 1st after allegedly being kidnapped from his home.
A fourth suspect, Kurtis Charters' brother Kaleb, was arrested in St. Clair Shores, Michigan this week and is awaiting extradition to California.
The Sheriff's Office announced the arrests on Tuesday, saying the press conference would come today — perhaps because the fourth arrest still had to be made.
The tech millionaire had, reportedly, recently gotten into the cannabis industry, and as KPIX reports, Kaleb Charters and Stephen Lindsay were former employees at Atre's Interstitial Systems on Fern Street in Santa Cruz.
"We believe this was a robbery for monetary value,” saidSanta Cruz Sheriff Lt. Brian Cleveland. “We do believe this was a planned event.”
Deputies reportedly executed 62 search warrants related to the case, and despite releasing surveillance footage in November of the suspects on the night of the kidnapping and murder, the case was solved just through police work and without any tips.
“Four people who did an awful, awful thing are in custody,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart. “We have the right people.”
"When a murder occurs — this man was sleeping when people physically entered his home, kidnapped and murdered him —the expectation of the family was that this case was going to be resolved quickly, efficiently and justice was going to be served." Hart said. "But when you look at the evidence we had on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 — we had a murder scene on Soquel San Jose Road. We had a kidnapping and home invasion scene at Pleasure Point and we had a really grainy video. That was it. It turns out we had suspects from outside the area. We had this huge suspect pool that we had to narrow down. We spent about 3,000 person-hours on this case putting it all together."