"There's a lot of moving parts right now," said Ashley Keehn, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office. "Detectives are working tirelessly. They have been since we got that call at three o-clock this morning."
Sheriff's deputies responded to Atre's home in the 3000 block of Pleasure Point Rd. after receiving a 911 call from someone inside the residence who reported a home invasion and kidnapping.
#NEW: Sheriff's Office says multiple suspects are involved. Patrol, air support, and investigators are currently working a scene (connected to this case) close to Soquel-San Jose Rd. near the Summit. Public is asked to avoid the area, if possible. https://t.co/ovuMVmxuOJ #ABC7Now— Chris Nguyen (@ChrisNguyenABC7) October 1, 2019
Atre, who is the founder of AtreNet, was last seen leaving the area in a white BMW SUV belonging to his girlfriend. Law enforcement officials say multiple suspects are involved, but they were unable to provide any descriptions. It's unclear if Atre was the driver or passenger in the vehicle.
"It's pretty bizarre that a serious crime like this would happen around here," said Santa Cruz resident Brandon Kiel. "This neighborhood's great, right here on the point where people surf... (it's) a pretty busy area."
The investigation eventually led detectives to the Upper Meadow Ranch area off Soquel-San Jose Road, where they located the missing vehicle around 10 a.m. Tuesday. A deceased body was also found nearby, but the Sheriff's Office says that person has not been identified.
"It's a pretty secluded, remote area... Soquel-San Jose Road. It kind of parallels Highway 17... it's up near the Summit," said Keehn.
The Sheriff's Office says Atre, 50, was likely targeted. Sheriff's deputies spent the afternoon securing both crime scenes to continue their investigation.
"Everyone knows each other," Santa Cruz resident, Boaz Clunie told ABC7 News. "So the fact that something that random could happen, it makes you feel like that can happen to you."
Back at Pleasure Point Road, some residents believe the crime was far from random. Many of Atre's neighbors describe questionable activity and illicit behavior.
The Sheriff's Office isn't confirming the validity of the claims. Instead, Keehn is only saying the sheriff's office is continuing to look for a motive.
One resident agreed to speak with ABC7 News but asked not to be identified.
"Santa Cruz is notorious for different things going on. And you know, people with money sometimes get sucked into interesting situations."
At this point, investigators do not believe the public is in danger. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Sheriff's Office.