GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – Pedro Bravo has been charged with murder for his alleged role in the disappearance of Doral teenager Christian Aguilar.
Gainesville Police said Aguilar’s body has not been found. However, according to Officer Ben Tobias, “This is now a recovery mission.”
Police asked property owners, residential or business, who may have lime rock roads on their property in Gainesville, that were accessible to the general public to search those properties for any suspicious areas of ground that appear to have been disturbed.
Aguilar, 18, was last seen Thursday Sept. 20th at a Best Buy store in Gainesville, police said. He was with Pedro Bravo, also 18, who faces a third-degree felony charge of depriving a victim of medical treatment. Bravo was arrested Monday and was being held on $100,000 bond.
Bravo told police that he and Aguilar got into a fight the day he disappeared. After several different versions of what happened, Bravo finally told detectives he beat Christian up and left him in a parking lot in northwestern Gainesville.
It was later discovered that Bravo bought a small shovel and a roll of duct tape several days before Christian’s disappearance, according to Gainesville Police.
Bravo’s roommate, Erik Skipper, said police searched their room for clues after Aguilar’s disappearance. Last Thursday, Skipper said he saw Bravo briefly before he left to meet up with Aguilar.
“I was eating lunch, again, I only ever say two things to him a day, that’s ‘Hello’ and ‘Good- bye’ and he was just walking out and said ‘Good bye,” recalled Skipper.
Bravo reportedly told investigators he bought the shovel and duct tape to fix his car after an accident, but Skipper said his car had two flats tires and a dent on Monday.
“He said he had hit a curb and it would have to have been a pretty big curb because the dent was massive,” said Skipper.
“But nothing you would use duct tape to repair,” asked CBS4 reporter Ted Scouten.
“Certainly not, nor a shovel,” said Skipper who added that Bravo’s story changed after a while. “He said he hit, it was a curb, but then he also threw in a wall and there was a ditch involved, this was Monday.”
Investigators have not found the tape or shovel.
Gainesville Police released pictures of Bravo’s 2004 Chevy Blazer that showed a different front right front wheel and tire from the rest of the vehicle. Police hoped the pictures were unique enough that someone might have remembered seeing it sometime between 3pm Thursday Sept. 20th and 8:00 a.m. Friday Sept. 21st.
That’s the window Gainesville Police haven’t been able to account for Aguilar.
Originally police speculated that the two got into a fight over Erika Friman, Aguilar’s girlfriend who Bravo dated in the past. Carlos Aguilar doesn’t buy that.
“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’s father, Carlos. “This is something more like jealousy. He knows that my son was living the dream he wanted himself and was not able to achieve.”
All three graduated from Doral Academy. Aguilar, who was studying biomedical engineering and Friman were freshman at the University of Florida. Bravo was a freshman at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
More than 200 law enforcement officers have assisted in the search for Aguilar including members of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue K9 Search and Rescue team and members of the Doral, Sweetwater and West Palm Beach police forces. Sweetwater Police, along with West Palm Beach Police, brought bloodhounds and cadaver dogs.
Pedro Bravo is expected to appear in bond court at 9 a.m. Saturday.
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.