FIRST ON FOX: JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL - Slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan's widow, Kirsten, spoke to Fox News Digital Wednesday hours after a Florida man was arrested for his murder - and weighed in on the suspect's connection to her husband's ex-wife.
Fox News Digital informed Kirsten that the accused killer was renting his Jacksonville home from Shana Gardner-Fernandez's second husband, Mario Fernandez, at the time of the slaying.
"I'm not surprised to be honest," Kirsten said after a long pause. She and Jared share daughters Bexley, 3, and London, 1.
Jared, 33, was gunned down Feb. 16 in front of Bexley after dropping off the twins he shares with Gardner-Fernandez at her home in Jacksonville Beach. He was lured from the car by a tire placed in middle of the one-way road.
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The Jacksonville Beach Police Department and the state attorney's office, led by Melissa Nelson, announced the arrest Wednesday of Henry Tenon, 61, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder, accessory after the fact to a capital felony and child abuse.
Kirsten and one of Jared's brothers, Adam Bridegan, attended the press conference and gave their first interview afterwards to Fox News Digital.
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"They charged him with conspiracy. That means there are more people," Kirsten said. "This was orchestrated, this was planned and this was specific to Jared."
Gardner-Fernandez and Fernandez, remain suspects in the killing, a law enforcement source told Fox News Digital.
While Kirsten and Adam both expressed their gratitude for the arrest and the hard work of the investigators, they called it a first step.
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"We will continue fighting until every single person involved in this, including those who tried to cover it up, are brought to justice," Adam said. "We are not going to give up."
Adam added that "as victims, we have a life sentence" without Jared.
The slain software developer had an acrimonious split from his ex-wife in 2016, and they had been locked in near constant litigation over finances and custody of their now 10-year-old twins until his death.
Shortly before their divorce, she asked a tattoo parlor staffer if he knew anyone who could "shut him up."
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It is Jared's four children who have been separated, traumatized and left fatherless who will suffer the most, Kristen said.
Bexley struggles with witnessing her father's murder. "She heard the noises of the shots that killed her dad, and she was alone wondering what happened to him, and he's not answering her for minutes - and minutes are an eternity for a child," said Kirsten. "She's been through a lot."
Beyond the loss of their father, the four children have lost each other. Jared had custody of the twins, a boy and girl, every other week. Jared's daughter with Gardner-Fernandez and Bexley were especially close.
"[She]would just drop her backpack and run to her little sister," recalled Kirsten, as tears streamed down her cheeks. "Every time she came home from school she would want to snuggle her. She loved to be a big sister."
However, Gardner-Fernandez will not allow the twins to see their siblings or even speak to them on the phone - despite repeated requests, according to Kirsten.
"Bexley asks about her big brother and her big sister, and I just say, 'mom has tried,'" she said. Kirsten, who was also close to the twins, misses them deeply and wishes they could have had their siblings support in their grief. "I know they're hurting," she said.
The chance of a reunion has become even more remote since Gardner-Fernandez moved 2,800 miles to the Pacific Northwest late last year, Fox News Digital exclusively reported Tuesday. Fernandez did not join her.
Her wealthy parents, Sterling and Shelli Gardner, used an LLC to secretly purchase a $1 million home for her in West Richland, Washington, property records show.
High-powered criminal defense lawyer Henry Coxe III, who represents Gardner-Fernandez and her husband, declined to comment.
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"I am angry. I think it would be strange if we weren't angry," Kirsten said. "A grave injustice has been done to our family and that includes [the twins] and it continues to be done."
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