Four men, including two former employees, have been arrested in connection with the October 2019 murder of California executive Tushar Atre. The 50-year-old founder of AtreNet Inc., was abducted from his coastal Santa Cruz home on Oct. 1, 2019, during an apparent robbery and was then found dead. Apart from the web marketing and designing company, Atre owned Interstitial Systems, a licensed cannabis manufacturing company.
Those arrested are Kurtis Charters, 22, Joshua Camps, 23, and Stephen Lindsay, 22 – all from Southern California. The fourth suspect — Kaleb Charters — was arrested in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Local news reports say that Kaleb Charters was awaiting extradition back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Kaleb Charters and Lindsay were employees of Interstitial Systems.
The four are facing charges including murder, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, burglary and related enhancements. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Camps is “facing additional enhancements for the use of a firearm.” Camp’s additional charge comes from the video surveillance footage of the Oct. 1 robbery and kidnapping, where one man was seen carrying a rifle, the Santa Cruz Sentinel report said.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported on May 26 that the four suspects made their first video teleconference appearance at the Santa Cruz Superior Court. However, the report said that their “appointed public defense attorneys requested a delay until June 26 for their clients to be arraigned on seven felony counts.”
New reports at the time of Atre’s death said he was at his home on the morning of Oct. 1 with several other people present when multiple suspects broke into his house and abducted him in his girlfriend’s white BMW. Someone in the house called authorities to report the abduction.
A friend, who also didn’t want to be identified, told KPIX 5 that Atre made enemies over his business deals. Glassdoor.com reveals Atre may not have been well-liked by his employees at AtreNet. One poster wrote, “The CEO Tushar Atre doesn’t value anyone, but himself.” Another poster left a review that said, “Total abusive nightmare! The worst employment experience of my life! You’ve been warned — run away now!”
According to his obituary in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Atre, who was born in Dagersheim, Germany, to immigrant parents from India, moved with his family to the U.S. in 1971. Atre attended public schools in Rye, New York, and attended New York University, majoring in Political Science and German Literature.
On June 6, 1990, Atre, an avid biker was hit by a car and run over by a truck in New York City. He managed to survive the ordeal. “After several surgeries and six months of rehabilitation, Arte continued with a new lease on life: biking, renovating his homes and enjoying music,” the obituary said. In 1996, he moved to Santa Cruz.