The widow of a Microsoft executive in Florida who was shot in an execution-style murder in front of her two-year-old daughter is praying for forensic evidence to lead detectives to her husband’s killer.
Jared Bridegan, 33, a father of four, was driving home with his daughter Bexley after dropping his nine-year-old twins with his ex-wife when he was ambushed and shot dead in Jacksonville Beach on February 16 .
Mr Bridegan had just got out of his black Volkswagen Atlas SUV to remove a tire which was obstructing the road when he was shot at close range, while Bexley was sitting in her car seat a few meters away.
His widow Kirsten Bridegan, 30, told The Independent that two months after the shocking murder, law enforcement was still waiting for medical examiners recovered from the scene to return from the lab.
“I pray that they can recover the DNA or fingerprints from the evidence they sent for processing, as this will allow us to find out who is behind this and who killed him,” she said. declared.
“It’s so frustrating it takes time but it’s not a TV show it’s real life. I’m praying and hoping that when it happens it gives us someone or something to look forward to. to research.
Ms Bridegan has set up Instagram and TikTok accounts to help track down her husband’s killers, and says the investigation appears to have gained momentum over the past week.
Police are investigating whether the killer(s) deliberately placed the tire in the middle of the one-way road and waited for the victim to get out of their car to remove it – a theory Ms Bridegan finds credible.
The Jacksonville Police Department has appealed for information about a darkened Ford F150 pickup truck captured by surveillance cameras near the murder scene.
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined local law enforcement in investigating the murder.
A $30,000 reward, made up of public and private donations, for information leading to the killer’s arrest was offered.
Violent crime in the Jacksonville Beach neighborhood where Mr Bridegan was shot is extremely rare and believed to have been a targeted killing.
Mrs Bridegan said The Independent she can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt her husband.
“Jared was such a good man, a good father, a great husband and a faithful friend. He would lend a tool to anyone who needed it, go to their house and help them. It’s just shocking that someone target and do it in such a perverse and cowardly way, especially with my daughter in the car.
Police are understandably tight-lipped about any developments in the case, she said, and even had to rule her out as a suspect in the early stages of the investigation.
“I know that at some point I was examined. I get it, they watch everyone closely when something like this happens.
She says her seven-month-old baby girl Bexley, London’s big sister, was virtually inseparable from her father. She used to barge into his office at their St Augustine home while he was working on Zoom, and they would read books, ride bikes and cook meals together.
“From the minute she woke up to the minute she went to bed, she just wanted to be with Jared.”
The two-year-old heard the fatal gunshots from her car seat and saw her father lying dead on the ground. Since the murder, she “stops dead” if she hears a siren and is scared at the sound of a loud noise, her mother said.
“But she goes all the way, she talks about dad. We focus a lot on the fact that he is well, he is in heaven, he is watching over us. I think that brings him some comfort.
Mr Bridegan shared custody of his nine-year-old twins, Liam and Abby, with his ex-wife Shanna.
The night he was murdered, he had a date with the twins and had taken the same route he took every week.
The twins did not attend his funeral. But in a post on his personalized bakery’s Instagram account, Mr Bridegan’s ex-wife Shanna said she had organized a private memorial with family and friends to ‘show support for my little ones’ .
“It was a very emotional day, but also a day of smiles, laughter and love.”
Ms Bridegan would not comment on her husband’s relationship with ex-wife Shanna, but said he had found raising his eldest children between homes difficult.
“Being the father of children split between two families is difficult, and it was something difficult for him.”
Mrs Bridegan says the grief of losing her husband of five years is sometimes unbearable, but she is focused on caring for her daughters and bringing her husband’s killers to justice.
“It’s hard to allow myself to feel those emotions and deal with them head-on. Sometimes I feel like I have to put them aside and be there for my girls. I just tried to focus on my girls and get some answers.
“Someone out there knows something, someone out there knows who did this. Whether it’s for the reward money, or because you’re a decent person and have a shred of humanity, please come forward. Please keep sharing, keep looking.
A public memorial and candlelight vigil is being held for Mr Bridegan at South Beach Park on Tuesday evening.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-270-1661 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.