Cupertino realtor found buried in shallow grave in Tulare County

- The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office has arrested a man in connection with the murder of a Cupertino man.

Christopher Ellebracht is set to be arraigned in for the murder of 70-year-old Gin Lu 'Tommy' Shwe Monday afternoon.

Shwe had been reported missing by his family Jan. 18.

The South Bay realtor was found buried in a shallow grave in Tulare County earlier this month. 

When Ellebracht was apprehended he was in possession of Shwe's wallet, according to authorities. 

Investigators learned Ellebracht, a handyman, had a working relationship with Shwe. While reviewing Shwe's financial records investigators discovered Ellebracht had deposited a forged check from the victim in the amount of $10,000. The deposit was made at an ATM in the City of Morgan Hill on Jan. 18, 2017. 

On Jan. 20, 2017 the CHP was notified of a white cargo van abandoned on the side of the road in the mountains just outside Three Rivers in Tulure County. The van was registered to Ellebracht. Detectives seized the van and requested a search warrant. They found evidence in the van which implied "foul play." Ellebracht was later arrested on an unrelated charge of brandishing a knife at a person at a fast food restaurant.

At the time of his arrest Ellebracht was in possession of Shwe's wallet. 

Detectives interviewed the suspect and later searched the area where his van was located. During the search authorities found a shallow grave where Shwe's body was found. The death was ruled a homicide by strangulation. 


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