Duval County

‘Somebody out there knows something’: widow reaches out for help in husband’s murder case

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Kirsten Bridegan is still taking it day by day.

“The quiet moments are really hard,” Bridegan said.

It’s been five weeks since her husband Jared was shot and killed on the side of the road in Jacksonville Beach.

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In one violent moment, Kirsten lost her fun-loving husband, and his four kids lost their father.

“He truly was the best dad. He always thought of, ‘how can I make memories with my kids?’” Bridegan said.

Kirsten remembers the Wednesday night Jared stopped answering his phone, until a police officer called.

All she was told was to come to the station and that her daughter was okay.

“I knew he wasn’t okay. I just had a feeling that something was not right,” Bridegan said.

That’s when she learned someone shot Jared multiple times with their 2-year-old daughter in the backseat.

“It was a mix of relief that she was OK and just anger that someone would do that, especially in front of my child that could have been hurt,” Bridegan said.

Action News Jax Gretchen Kernbach asked Bridegan if she had any idea who could have done this and why.

“I’m trusting that the police will find what they need to, to give us those answers,” Bridegan said.

While she’s leaning on the police, she’s also leaning on the community.

Jax Beach businesses are showing their support. You can find flyers in windows asking people if they have seen this dark blue Ford F-150 truck.

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Police are still looking for a vehicle of interest in Bridegan’s murder.

Jacksonville Beach Police Sgt. Tonya Tator said they’re not sure if it’s still in the area.

“It can be in another state but it could be local. That’s why we’re trying to get the word out to as many people as we can,” Tator said.

Police said this is just one piece of evidence of many.

“I don’t think at this point that the detectives are looking at it as road rage, but we’re not alleviating any possibilities of who could have done it or why they could have done it,” Tator said.

Police are encouraging folks to keep calling in. They said no matter how seemingly small, any tip helps.

“People have come forward. They’ve been giving us some good tips,” Tator said.

Kirsten has been handing out flyers herself to local businesses. She’s also created an Instagram account, @Justiceforjaredb, which has reached thousands of people.

“Somebody out there knows something,” Bridegan said.

She said she gets by on a lot of praying and accepting help from family and friends.

“I’m really grateful for the neighbors, the friends, and the community that’s already reached out and said ‘hey we’re here to help you,’” Bridegan said.

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Bridegan has received a number of gifts from community members, including a painting to honor Jared’s memory.

“We’re going to talk about Dad. We’re going to remember the good times and just look forward to when we can see him again,” Bridegan said.

Doing nothing is not an option for Kirsten. She said she won’t accept not knowing who did this.