Case Tushar Atre: In the kidnapping and murder of the tech manager

Who would target the 50-year-old tech executive-turned-cannabis entrepreneur, and would the surveillance video help investigators crack the case?

An entrepreneur & adventurer

Tushar Atre
Tushar Atre, 50, owned a web design company and was well known in the tech community.

Rachel Emerlye


Tushar Atre lived near the beach in Santa Cruz, California. Friends say he loved adventure and especially surfing.

October 1, 2019: Mysterious surveillance video

Tushar Atre surveillance video
Surveillance video shows three hooded figures walking toward Tushar Atre’s home on Pleasant Point Drive on October 1, 2019.

Santa Cruz District Court


A neighbor’s security cameras picked up three people walking out of an alley on Pleasure Point Drive in Santa Cruz, California at 2:48 a.m. Investigators said they could be seen making their way to Tushar Atre’s home.

October 1, 2019: riot in the middle of the night

Tushar Atre Evidence
One of Tushar Atre’s employees, who lived at the house, said he heard a commotion around 3 a.m

proof photo


Tushar Atre was asleep at home around 3am when employees staying with him heard loud noises and banging. A house guest heard two unidentified male voices. They asked for a safe. The guest then heard the commotion moving outside and the sound of cars driving away. A 911 call was placed at 3:34 a.m

October 1, 2019: No sign of forced entry

Tushar Atre Evidence
The front door and entrance to Tushar Atre’s home in Santa Cruz.

proof photo


Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Officers responded to Tushar’s residence within 10 minutes. They found no signs of forced entry.

October 1, 2019: No sign of a search

The kitchen of Tushar Atre
The kitchen of Tushar Atre

proof photo


Investigators took photos of Tushar’s home, which they say did not appear to have been ransacked.

October 1, 2019: A vault full of cash

Tushar Atre Evidence
Tushar Atre’s safe is in his bedroom.

proof photo


Investigators say Tushar Atre had $80,000 in his bedroom safe. But they say the suspects didn’t open the safe.

October 1, 2019: Blood on the streets

Tushar Atre Evidence
Investigators took photos of what was later determined to be blood on the street of Tushar Atre’s home.

proof photo


Investigators found blood in the middle of the street. A white BMW SUV belonging to Tushar Atre’s girlfriend, Rachael Emerlye, was missing from his driveway.

October 1, 2019: Authorities find the white BMW

Tushar Atre Evidence
Rachael Emerlye’s white BMW SUV was found abandoned in the Santa Cruz mountains.

proof photo


About six hours later, investigators found the missing BMW in the mountains of Santa Cruz, where Tushar had his cannabis farm.

Tushar Atre’s body was found

Tushar Atre Evidence
Investigators marked where shell casings were found near Tushar Atre’s body in the Santa Cruz mountains.

proof photo


About 20 to 30 meters from the SUV, investigators found Tushar Atre’s body. He had been fatally shot and stabbed.

Victim’s hands tied

Tushar Atre Evidence
Tushar Atre’s hands were bound with flexible handcuffs.

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Investigators say Atre’s hands were tied with cable ties.

Tushar fought for his life

atre-running.jpg
Surveillance video shows Tushar Atre being pursued by one of the suspects. Atre’s hands are tied behind him.

Santa Cruz District Court


Surveillance cameras in the neighborhood captured video showing Tushar walking down the street with his hands tied behind his back, trying to escape his attackers. Investigators say he was then thrown to the ground and repeatedly stabbed.

SUV processed as evidence

Tushar Atre Evidence
Rachael Emerlye’s BMW, recovered from Tushar Atre’s cannibis farm, had blood inside and out.

proof photo


Investigators ruled out Rachael Emerlye as a suspect early on. She was out of town at the time of Tushar’s kidnapping and murder. Her SUV was examined for DNA and fingerprints.

The suspects brought an assault rifle

Tushar Atre surveillance video
Investigators say one of the three suspects highlighted in surveillance video was holding an assault rifle.

Santa Cruz District Court


The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office released a portion of surveillance video showing three unidentified suspects. According to investigators, one of the suspects was carrying an assault rifle.

January 29, 2020: Justice for Tushar Atre

Tushar Atre reward poster
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the murder.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office


After nearly four months with no apparent leads, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced a $200,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

More surveillance video

Tushar Atre Evidence
Local road surveillance video shows a blue sedan driving toward Tushar Atre’s business property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

proof photo


The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office identified a blue sedan on additional surveillance video. The video also showed the white BMW SUV. Authorities were soon able to map the suspects’ possible route.

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