Search For Missing UF Student Enters 11th Day
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBS4) – it’s day 11 in the search for missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar and hope is fading that the 18-year old South Florida teen will be found alive.
His disappearance has brought the community together and the Aguilar family to its knees.
The nightmare for the Aguilar family started Thursday, September 20th.
Christian disappeared that night, shortly after he was seen on surveillance video with his friend, Pedro Bravo, at a Gainesville Best Buy.
The following Saturday, Bravo, 18, was named a person of interest in the case.
Police said he told them he beat up Christian and then left him in a parking lot.
Gainesville cops said they think the teens may have been fighting over a girl, but Christian’s girlfriend, Erika Friman, found that hard to believe.
“I don’t think it had to do with me,” Friman said. “I think they had both, like, I think Pedro may not have approved of it, but he accepted it.”
News of Christian’s disappearance spread quickly to students at his former high school, Doral Academy.
“He was really outgoing, he’d hang out with his friends a lot,” one girl said..
“I just hope that they find him and they find him soon,” another former classmate of Christian’s told CBS 4 News.
On Monday, Bravo was arrested and charged with depriving a victim of medical treatment.
Law enforcement agencies from across the state arrived in Gainevsille to assist in the search.
By Wednesday, hope started to fade.
“We can confirm that Pedro Bravo did purchase a shovel and a roll of duct tape,” Gainesville Police Spokesman Ofc. Ben Tobias said.
“I told them we have to start thinking the worst,” Carlos Aguilar said threw tears after the announcement.
On Friday, September 28th, new charges against Bravo were filed.
“The Gainesville Police department has charged Pedro Bravo with the murder of Christian Aguilar,” Ofc. Tobias said in a press conference. Police did not take any questions that day.
“That moment destroyed my family,” Carlos Aguilar said.
On Saturday, Bravo appeared in court on suicide watch.
Police said they found traces of blood in Bravo’s car and Christian’s backpack hidden behind a door in Bravo’s bedroom.
“It seems almost like he’s oddly and a little smugly at peace with what he did,” Bravo’s roommate, Erik Skipper, told CBS 4 News.
Throughout the ordeal, the community has come together.
Students and strangers have given what they can to support the Aguilar family and those searching for Christian.
“I would want somebody to step up,” Adrienne Bonanno said after donating a few dollars. “Anything you can donate, or maybe just a prayer, and hopefully he’ll be found.”
Christian’s father thanked volunteers for their support on the “Find Christian Aguilar” Facebook page.
There’s a special church service planned for Wednesday night at Prince of Peace Catholic Church and a benefit concert at Florida International University on October 14th.
For more information on how to donate, visit www.helpfindchris.com.