Suspect In UF Teen Disappearance: ‘Shovel, Duct Tape For My Car’
GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) — It’s been a tough day for Carlos Aguilar along with the family and friends of his son Christian.
“I told them we have to start thinking the worst,” Carlos said as he broke down in tears.
Christian has been missing since Thursday, the day this surveillance picture was taken of him and his friend Pedro Bravo. Investigators say Bravo admitted he beat up Christian Thursday and left him in this parking lot. No one has seen him since then. Now…there’s another grim detail.
“Several days before christian’s disappearance, we can confirm that Pedro Bravo did purchase a shovel and a roll of duct tape,” said Gainesville Police Spokesman Ben Tobias.
For the first time this week, Carlos tells us Bravo spoke — trying to explain what he was doing with the tape. “It’s a possibility that he got into an accident and he used the duct tape to fix certain things,” said Carlos. “The problem is they haven’t found the tape.”
As for the shovel, Carlos said Bravo claims he used it to free his car that was stuck from that same accident. Police confirm Bravo did give that explaination.
But Carlos said Bravo’s a pathological liar, “He lied to the police, he lied to me, he lied to other people, they’d need to ask him and confront him to make sure the truth come out,” said Carlos
While friends have been search for days…along with rescue teams from across the state, the Aguilar family and their friends are holding on to their faith and hoping against hope that Christian is still out there alive, maybe injured…and will soon find his way home.
“My phone would ring,” Carlos hopes, “and somebody would say come and pick up my son and i would call you guys and for sure…so you can see my happy face and the other face of my family when we are happy.”
The search will resume in the morning. Officers from the Doral Police Department, along with members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police will join in the effort.
Multiple agencies have joined in the search for Aguilar, who is from South Florida. The Doral Police Department was the latest to get involved sending a convoy of six officers including a K-9 unit and all-terrain vehicles to Gainesville.
Sweetwater Police, along with West Palm Beach Police, have brought bloodhounds and cadaver dogs to the search, but they haven’t found anything so far.
“If he’s anywhere and they did try to bury him somewhere, it’s very shallow and I have faith these dogs would pick up the scent,” said Sweetwater Police Chief Robert Fulgueira.
Last Thursday 18-year old Aguilar, a freshman at the University of Florida, reportedly got into fight with Bravo.
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.
Tobias said police didn’t believe Bravo was truthful in his statement about the last location where he saw Aguilar.
“Based on the fact that we don’t have any evidence from that initial location, that’s a logical conclusion,” Tobias said.
Police said that Aguilar’s cell phone has shown no activity since 8:14 p.m. Thursday when it was powered off. 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. Bravo stood motionless during his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday where his bond was set at $100,000.
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. There has been some speculation that the fight was over Friman, but she doesn’t believe that.
“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.”
Tobias said police were very frustrated with the fact that Bravo hasn’t given any more information about the whereabouts of Aguilar.
“We have had no contact with Pedro, his attorney hasn’t approached us yet,” Tobias said Wednesday.
Carlos Aguilar feels everything Bravo has told police has been a lie.
“Pedro is a pathological liar. He’s been telling lies right from the beginning and right now we know that we cannot believe him. He’s been pulling the bluff, saying it was something regarding a relationship, or something regarding a woman. That’s not true,” said Aguilar. “This is something more like jealousy. He know that my son was living the dream he wanted himself and was not able to achieve.”
As more time passes Carlos Aguilar, his family and son’s friends are having to face an unpleasant reality.
“I told them we have to start thinking the worst,” said Aguilar.
Volunteers spent Tuesday combing new sections of the woods looking for any clues which would lead to Aguilar.
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.
If you have any information about what may have happened to Aguilar, call the Gainesville Police Department tip line at 352-393-7670.
“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.”