Illinois woman's secret lover texts 'I'll do it myself' before boyfriend's murder, prosecutors say

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Woman, secret lover planned boyfriend's murder via text: prosecutors
Bridgeview woman Agnieszka Rydzewski and her secret lover, Anthony Calderon, allegedly planned her boyfriend Arturo Cantu's murder, prosecutors said.

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The girlfriend of a man shot to death in Bridgeview, Illinois, this week appeared in court Sunday for her alleged involvement in the murder. Another man, who she was allegedly in a secret relationship with, is also facing charges for the fatal shooting.

Prosecutors read out several text messages between the co-defendants, which they said is proof of their murder-for-hire plan. The judge agreed, ordering Agnieszka Rydzewski held behind bars pending her trial.

For the second consecutive day, the mother of 39-year-old Arturo Cantu, Diana Pachecho, walked out of court clearly distraught.

I'm done waiting. I will do it myself... There will be no mercy
Alleged text messages sent from Anthony Calderon to Agnieszka Rydzewski

"I'm heartbroken," Pachecho said. "I'm destroyed inside."

Rydzewski, a resident of the Chicago suburb, is facing murder-for-hire charges. Prosecutors say she allegedly conspired with a co-worker she was in a secret relationship with to kill Cantu, who was her longtime live-in boyfriend.

The coworker, Anthony Calderon, was himself ordered detained during his initial court appearance on Saturday. He is charged with the murder itself, having allegedly pulled the trigger early Wednesday morning in Bridgeview as Cantu was loading items into his car, getting ready to leave home.

"My philosophy is, if you're not getting along as a couple, leave, don't kill him," Pachecho said. "My son didn't deserve it."

While in court, prosecutors said during her initial interview with police, Rydzewski denied having any knowledge of the murder. However, text messages retrieved from her cell phone between April 28 and May 14, the day before the murder, paint a very different picture. One, in which, Rydzewski and Calderon had allegedly first attempted to hire someone else to do the job.

Ultimately, Calderon allegedly said via text on May 9, "I'm done waiting. I will do it myself."

And then on May 14, he allegedly texted, "There will be no mercy."

Calderon and Rydzewski both worked at a local McDonald's together, investigators said.

The shooting happened the next day.

Cantu was walking to his car outside his apartment, which he had remote-started, when someone confronted him near the vehicle. Cantu was shot multiple times, police said.

A neighbor told our sister station WLS that he saw Cantu take out garbage and then saw another man standing next to the victim, behind his car.

Authorities also said Cantu's girlfriend was inside the apartment at the time of the shooting and the victim was found with a knife in his hand. It's not clear if it was used in the confrontation.

The new details come as Cantu's children have been pleading for justice in their father's killing. An exact motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

The victim's 10-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son told WLS that Cantu was a great dad and was always helping people.

Both Cantu's ex-wife and his parents are trying to raise funds for his funeral.

Calderon will next be in court on Tuesday. Both he and Rydzewski can still appeal their respective judge's decision to be held pending their trial.