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Victim in Pleasure Point kidnapping incident found dead

PLEASURE POINT—The man found dead late Tuesday morning in a vehicle in the Santa Cruz Mountains has been identified as Tushar Atre, who was kidnapped from his Pleasure Point home about seven hours earlier.

Atre, 50, was taken from his upscale oceanfront home about 3 a.m., and driven away in his girlfriend’s white 2007 BMW, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ashley Keehn.

Sheriff’s deputies found the BMW on the 24000 block of Soquel San Jose Road. near the summit, with Atre’s body inside.

The cause of death has not been released. Investigators believe the motive for the crime is robbery, but the SCCSO has released few details.

The death is being investigated as a homicide.

“We would like to let the community know we believe this is an isolated incident,” Keehn said.

A man who lives across the street from Atre said his roommate heard loud voices and arguing around 3 a.m., and later saw flashing lights of emergency vehicles.

“He just thought it was a bunch of young people being loud,” said the man, who did not want to be identified. “My roommate looked out and saw some kind of a struggle and a guy being pushed into a white SUV. Then it sped away.”

Atre ran his own company called AtreNet, which designs websites for corporations. A call to that company Tuesday got Atre’s voice, asking the caller to leave a message.

Throughout Tuesday morning deputies kept a tight crime scene on Pleasure Point Drive, defined by yellow tape, a crime scene investigation van and several patrol cars. Scores of surfers, parents pushing strollers and early-morning walkers meandered past the scene.

On Wednesday morning large swaths of blood were still visible on the street near Atre’s home.

John Ribera, a realtor for Coldwell Banker, said he often surfed with Atre.

“I watched (Atre) go from being a techy guy to become a pretty good surfer,” Ribera said. “We met in the water right out there in front of his house. I’ve been surfing that spot since the early 80s; that is my go-to spot for surfing. I even went up to his house once about 10 years ago because he had a fire out in his yard, like a friendly gathering. He has a real nice place. Life was pretty good for Tushar. He’s totally polite, kind. He’s nice enough that I even gave up a wave for him now and again.”

Kevin Deetz, who has been surfing that area for the past 40 years, said he’d noticed recently several construction workers at the Atre residence fixing the place up.

“There were a lot of workers coming and going out of that place — it looked like a big job,” Deetz said. “There were some unusual things about some of them.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Jacob Ainsworth at 454-7635.

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