Man, woman accused in Bridgeview murder-for-hire plot appear in court again as investigators uncover motive

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The family of Arturo Cantu Jr. sat in court for the third time in a matter of days vowing to get justice as Anthony Calderon and Agnieszka Rydzewski faced a judge again Tuesday afternoon.

“The victim’s family absolutely I talked to them  for a little while I know they’re heartbroken,” Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said.

Chief Mancha told NBC Chicago that dozens of investigators, including from the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, pieced together the timeline and uncovered the motive of the case.

“The officers just went step by step by step, like they’re supposed to do, and through a little bit of leg work and a little bit of luck, we were able to put everything together,” he said.

Over the weekend, prosecutors revealed Calderon was in a secret relationship with Rydzewski, Cantu’s girlfriend. Both worked at a McDonald’s just blocks away from Cantu’s apartment in Bridgeview.

“It is my understanding she was the manger there and he was an employee at the McDonald’s,” Mancha said.

Prosecutors said the beloved father was on his way to work last Wednesday morning. Cantu was placing items into his car when he was shot multiple times. The suspect, later identified as Calderon, was captured on surveillance video.

“The original key evidence was the video that we were able to obtain from one of the businesses which kinda led us into the direction of the individuals that we have in custody now,” Mancha said.

Prosecutors said the video shows him arriving and leaving the scene of the crime in his red vehicle. Investigators discovered that vehicle at his workplace the following day. Calderon was arrested on Friday.

“He gave them [detectives] a full admission of what he did and that’s kinda what led us into other avenues to talk to the young lady involved in this,” Mancha said.

Rydzewski has been charged with solicitation to commit murder. Prosecutors alleged she plotted with Calderon to kill Cantu, who she had been in a relationship with for more than six years.

Prosecutors cited text messages between the two in court on Tuesday, with some dating back to April.

"We will be together once all is clear," one of the messages read.

Cantu’s family left the status hearing on Tuesday afternoon still shocked and stunned that someone once welcomed into their family could be accused of such a crime.

The victim’s father told NBC 5 off camera they’re trying to stay strong while still finalizing funeral arrangements for Arturo.

As for the defendants, both will remain behind bars until their next court hearing, scheduled for June 12.

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