Tushar Atre was asleep inside his oceanfront dwelling in Santa Cruz on Oct. 1 when a gaggle of males armed with a rifle emerged from a darkened alley, entered his dwelling and kidnapped him.
The group pressured the 50-year-old businessman into his white BMW shortly earlier than three a.m. and drove him to a property he owned on Soquel San Jose Highway within the Santa Cruz Mountains. Hours later, authorities discovered Atre fatally shot within the automotive.
Although they suspected from the start that the motive within the slaying was theft, the two crime scenes left authorities with more questions than answers, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart mentioned throughout a information convention this week.
“We had a homicide scene, we had a house invasion kidnapping scene and a extremely grainy video,” he mentioned. “That was it. We had this enormous suspect pool we needed to slender down.”
On Thursday — greater than seven months after Atre’s demise and after about three,000 hours of detective work — officers introduced that 4 males had been arrested on suspicion of homicide, kidnapping and theft.
Joshua Camps, 23, and Kurtis Charters, 22, each of Lancaster; Stephen Lindsay, 22, of Burbank; and Kaleb Charters, 19, of St. Clair Shores, Mich., have been taken into custody at or close to their properties Tuesday, sheriff’s Lt. Brian Cleveland mentioned.
Kurtis Charters, Camps and Lindsay are being held within the Santa Cruz County Jail with out bail. Kurtis Charters’ brother, Kaleb, is being extradited from Michigan this week.
Kaleb Charters and Lindsay have been early individuals of curiosity within the investigation. Each males had labored for Atre at his hashish enterprise, Interstitial Methods. Camps was an affiliate of the group, Cleveland mentioned.
Investigators say they linked the lads to Atre’s slaying by forensic proof discovered on the crime scene, digital proof and knowledge obtained by a whole bunch of interviews carried out over the course of the probe.
Cleveland declined to debate every man’s suspected position within the plot or provide particulars concerning the theft.
“This was a mindless crime. There’s actually no clarification,” he mentioned. “These folks needed financial achieve and took benefit of the scenario.”
In accordance with his social media profiles, Atre was an avid surfer whose dwelling ignored the Pacific Ocean. His Instagram profile depicts an adventurous, nature-filled life. His Twitter profile reads: “Surfer. Mushroom forager. All the time on the go.”
Along with his hashish enterprise, Atre was the proprietor of AtreNet, an internet design firm based in 1996 that caters to Silicon Valley company companies. In accordance with AtreNet’s web site, the corporate’s purchasers embody expertise, advertising and marketing and software program firms corresponding to Hewlett-Packard, BuzzLogic, Seagate and Tealeaf Know-how.
Hart mentioned he hoped the arrests would assist deliver Atre’s household some closure.
“This case took vigilance. It took resilience,” he mentioned. “We butted up in opposition to a whole lot of closed doorways throughout this investigation and each time that occurred our investigators discovered some place else to go together with this case. This case was solved by excellent police work being supported by a whole lot of completely different teams.”
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