The ex-wife of slain Microsoft CEO Jared Bridegan has moved 2,800 miles from Florida to the Pacific Northwest as investigators set to announce an imminent arrest in an unsolved murder case, Fox News Digital has learned.
Nearly a year after the father of four was executed in front of his toddler Bexley in northern Florida, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez quietly uprooted her 10-year-old twins with Jared and moved to West Richland, Washington.
When asked on Monday to comment on the significant development of the case, she replied: “No, I’m sorry.” Minutes later, she was spotted in her white Tesla in the grocery store parking lot while talking on her cell phone.
Jared’s second wife, Kirsten Bridegan, with whom he shares 3-year-old Bexley and 1-year-old London, said she was stunned that Gardner-Fernandez had gone so far.
“Honestly, I was in shock,” she said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Monday. “First the twins lost their dad, then they were completely torn away from their sisters, and now they are being taken away from school, friends, sports teams. They are so isolated and it worries me.”
According to Kirsten, Jared took care of the twins every week, but shortly after his murder, Gardner-Fernandez cut off all contact with his family.
“It was an additional loss,” she said. “In addition to losing Jared, my children have lost their siblings. I lost adopted children. I tried for months to make contact, but nothing came of it.”
Gardner-Fernandez, 35, and Bridegan, 33, divorced in 2016, but they continued to argue over finances and custody of the twins in family court until his death on February 16, 2022.
A law enforcement source told Fox News Digital that the arrest is expected as early as Wednesday, but did not provide details.
According to a second source, Gardner-Fernandez and her second husband, Mario Fernandez, remain suspects in the murder mystery.
After the murder, the couple hired influential criminal defense lawyer Henry Cox III, who on Monday declined to comment on the story.
Less than a year after the children tragically lost their father, Gardner-Fernandez picked them up from a private school in Jacksonville Beach and moved them to a six-bedroom, four-bath home in the Tri-Cities neighborhood of southeast Washington.
Property records show that the modern ranch was purchased in September for $1 million by Whitesand LLC, which lists the address of her parents, Shelley and Sterling Gardner, in Alpine, Utah.
Shelley Gardner founded Stampin’ Up, a paper products company that, according to IncFact, has an estimated annual revenue of more than $100 million a year.
Her parents are prominent figures in the Mormon community known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
They were in West Richland last week visiting their daughter and grandchildren and also attended a solo Sunday service at the local LDS church.
Jared was a devout believer. As Fox News Digital previously reported, Gardener-Fernandez turned away from religion after their 2010 wedding and then allegedly had an affair, prompting their acrimonious split.
Her second marriage also falters. Shortly after the murder, neighbors said they no longer saw Fernandez at the couple’s $1 million Jacksonville Beach home, which they jointly own, and he did not join her on the cross-country journey.
It was put up for sale on October 27 and then withdrawn from sale on January 3.
Gardner-Fernandez’s primary connection to West Richland appears to be with a friend she met at a 2020 baking conference, Marla Rogers, who owns the house next door.
Rogers runs Marla’s Cookie Co. from her home in the same way that Gardner-Fernandez operated her own now-closed Beach Baked 904 bakery from her Florida home.
Gardner-Fernandez made a brief appearance on Sunday in a video Rogers posted to her company’s Instagram page.
As Rogers cleans up after cookie decorating class, Gardner-Fernandez enters the kitchen wearing a shirt that says “PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THINGS!”
Jared was shot dead on February 16, 2022 in Jacksonville Beach after bringing his twins and 2-year-old Bexley to dinner. A software engineer had just dropped off the twins at their mother’s house when he ran into a tire on a one-way road.
He got out of his Volkswagen Atlas to move it and was repeatedly shot dead by an unknown assailant, with Bexley watching from her car seat.
“She has good days when she is happy,” Kirsten said. “But it will be a lifetime for her to work through those feelings and the trauma she went through.”
Few details about the investigation, conducted jointly by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department and the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, led by Melissa Nelson, have been made public.
At the start of the investigation, police asked the public for help in identifying a dark blue Ford F-150 captured on surveillance footage near the crime scene, and a $55,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest.
Kirsten said she and her daughters are trying to heal, but New Year’s has been especially challenging.
“We ended last year as a complete family and started a brand new year without those memories or Jared,” she said. “It was very difficult.”