Tushar Atre, the Santa Cruz-based tech executive who was kidnapped from his home on Tuesday, is dead.
Hours after Atre was taken from his home early Tuesday morning, sheriff’s deputies found the white BMW he was last seen in, along with a dead body, miles inland from his coastal home. While authorities did not identify the body on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office confirmed that it was Atre on Wednesday.
“That person has now been identified as 50-year-old Santa Cruz County resident, Tushar Atre,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but we have reason to believe the motive was robbery,” the statement continued.
Atre lived on the scenic Pleasure Point Drive, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, and where homes are listed on Zillow for nearly two million dollars.
After the sheriff’s office updated a previous post about the kidnapping on Facebook, grief-filled messages began pouring in.
“RIP sweet friend,” one person commented. Another commented with the question, “What the hell is happening to our lovely beach town???”
Atre is the owner of Atrenet, which according to the company’s LinkedIn page has “been serving the web design and development needs of many of the most innovative and successful high tech companies in Silicon Valley since 1996.”
From Atre’s online presence, the New York University graduate was a lover of the outdoors, surfing and had been called “one of a kind” by clients endorsing him on LinkedIn. He also wrote several blog posts for Atrenet’s website.
However, an anonymous friend told San Francisco CBS station KPIX that Atre had made “enemies over his business deals,” and he had some negative reviews on Glassdoor from previous employees that said he “doesn’t value anyone but himself.”
Yet other reviewers on the site said that working for Atre at Atrenet was “incredibly rewarding.”
His Instagram reveals several photos of sunsets and landscapes, and his last post, shared in July, featured a seal visiting his porch that overlooks the ocean.
Atre’s neighbors were “shocked” that such a crime could take place in their neighborhood, ABC7 reported Tuesday.