GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – Friday marks what would have been Christian Aguilar’s 19th birthday.
On Thursday, his parents finally learned how their son, a University of Florida freshman who disappeared after leaving a Gainesville Best Buy in September, died.
An indictment filed with the Alachua County grand jury says suspect Pedro Bravo killed Doral academy graduate Christian Aguilar by “suffocating him, poisoning him, or in some manner and by some means unknown”.
The finding is a far cry from what Carlos Aguilar, Christian’s father, had first believed. He thought his son had been beaten and left for dead, possibly fighting to survive as his family and volunters searched through the woods of Alachua County for days:
“This is his way to say, ‘This is my present. I did not suffer that much’,” Aguilar said on the eve of what would have been his son’s 19th birthday.
“It’s still painful remembering my son,” he added.
Pedro Bravo is charged with first degree murder and kidnapping in the case. Now, he’s also facing charges of poisoning and tampering with evidence.
“The case is getting stronger now,” Aguilar said. “All the evidence isn’t out yet.”
Aguilar said with therapy and faith, he’s come to terms with the fact justice may take years.
“For the first time I can say, in my heart, I’m prepared. I’m ready and my family will be ready,” he said.
The Aguilar family will gather at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Doral in a celebration of Christian’s life Friday.
The memorial is open to the public.
Pedro Bravo’s next court appearance is set for November 28th.