In October 2019, a 50-year-old tech executive and cannabis entrepreneur was asleep in his Santa Cruz, California home when four armed men invaded his home. The executive was kidnapped and later murdered.
Recently, the Santa Cruz County sheriff announced the arrest of the four suspects on charges of kidnapping, murder, and robbery. Two of the suspects were employees of the victim's cannabis business. None of the men had a prior criminal record nor were they from the Santa Cruz area. The motive was determined to be robbery.
Early on in the investigation, surveillance video showed three men, one with a rifle, entering the CEO's multimillion-dollar house just long enough to force the victim into his girlfriend's car and drive off. Of potential interest at that time was that the tech executive had also recently formed a cannabis manufacturing company. Finally, anonymous reviewers on social media platforms opined that the victim was not a pleasant person to work for, and described him as rude, disrespectful, vulgar, and condescending.
However, the sheriff said that ultimately the surveillance video, social media, and tips were not key factors in identifying the suspects.
Cracking the case took "vigilance" and "resilience." The Sheriff said the case was solved by outstanding police work being supported by many unspecified groups. One of the suspects is currently being extradited to California; the other three arrested men are in the Santa Cruz county jail with no bail. "Santa Cruz Sheriff reveals how Tushar Atre knew his suspected killers" www.kron4.com (May 22, 2020).