MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the search for a missing South Florida teen in Gainesville entered its fifth day, his family asked for help from the last person to see him alive.
Last Thursday 18-year old University of Florida freshman Christian Aguilar and his good friend 18-year old Pedro Bravo were captured on surveillance video at a Best Buy store. Some time after that, they got into a fight.
Bravo reportedly told police that after the fight he left Aguilar in a parking lot in the 4900 block of NW 13th St (US 441) in northwestern Gainesville. Investigators suspect Aguilar then wandered into some nearby woods. Police believe he may have been disoriented and/or seriously injured, and unable to seek medical attention.
Tuesday night, police said that Aguilar’s cell phone has shown no activity since Thursday. They also said searchers found a shoe near the location where Bravo said he last saw Aguilar. Police, however, said the shoe is not the same color or style that Aguilar was wearing when he disappeared, but it will still be examined.
On Monday, Bravo was arrested and charged with depriving a victim of medical care which is a third degree felony. During his bond court appearance on Tuesday, the Aguilar family begged for his help.
“He’s our only help and we’re begging him to tell us where he is so we can find him,” said Sandra Aguilar, Christian’s aunt.
“We ask directly to him, one clue, one address, any place where he remembers where my son could be at,” said Claudia Maria Elena Aguilar, Christian’s mother.
With tears in their eyes, Bravo’s parents asked for a low bond so they could bring him home to Miami.
Bravo stood motionless during the hearing.
Christian’s family held hands as they hoped for a high bond.
The judge set it at $100 thousand; an amount Bravo’s attorney said was to high for the crime he is accused of committing.
“These are two best friends, best friends get into fights just like brothers and sisters get into fights. We are hoping Christian is alive and well and will be found in good health,” said Bravo’s attorney Larry Turner.
Both Aguilar and Bravo graduated from Doral Academy Charter.
Carlos Aguilar said that his son was currently dating Erika Friman who Bravo had dated when they lived in South Florida.
Friman said she still finds it hard to believe Aguilar and Bravo got into a fight.
“They’re very calm people. Christian is shy and so is Pedro. They’re very, very (pause) I don’t think this. I don’t think this physical (confrontation) is like them at all.”
Police have said that Aguilar and Bravo were fighting over a Friman, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Friman said she doesn’t believe they were fighting over her.
“I don’t think it had to do with me. I think they had both, like, I think Pedro may not have approved of it, but he accepted it, believed that it was ‘okay as long as she’s happy’ sort of thing.”
Volunteers spent Tuesday combing new sections of the woods looking for any clues which would lead to Aguilar. Edward Mesis drove up from Miami to help.
“You have to hope that you can find him,” said Mesis, “And bring him back home.”
“Sooner or later they’re going to be able to find a clue and say this is what happened,” said Carlos Aguilar.
Carlos Aguilar said he believes the one person who has all the answers is sitting in jail. Bravo’s parents have offered to help with the search. The Aguilars would like the Bravos to talk to their son to see what information he will give them. When Pedro’s father said he couldn’t afford to stay, Carlos Aguilar said he would find a way to help out.
“So I just went ahead and offered him all my resources for him to stay, just for him to be able to talk to Pedro and he can pass that information to me,” said Anguilar.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the search can call the Gainesville Police Department’s recorded information line at 352-393-7511 for information.
“It’s not a matter of if we find him,” said friend Eduardo Vilchez. “I know we will and we’ll find him alive. It’s just a matter of putting in the effort and spreading the word and he’ll turn up.”
On Twitter, friends are organizing a candlelight vigil for Aguilar Tuesday evening. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at North Trail Park at 780 127th Avenue in Miami.