Local teen missing in Gainesville
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- A wooded area near the University of Florida is being searched for an 18-year-old student from Miami who went missing.
Another 18-year-old who told police he had a fight with the victim, Christian Aguilar, is being called a person of interest in the case.
The college freshman just graduated from the Doral Academy Charter High School. Friends, family, former school mates and teachers have joined together to search 85 square miles of woods. "I cannot do it by myself, even though I'm gonna try," said Christian's father Carlos Aguilar. "That's all I can say."
It's every parent's fear, seeing your child's face under the words "missing." Family and even Gainesville Police think Christian Aguilar may be alive but injured. "He may be injured," said Tscharna Senn of the Gainesville Police Department, "and if he's injured, we need to try and find him as soon as possible."
According to police, 18-year-old Pedro A. Bravo, a UF classmate said he had an altercation with Christian, Thursday evening, and left him injured in a wooded area, at around 6 p.m. Bravo is being held involuntarily, after making comments to police about wanting to harm himself. Bravo has also retained an attorney.
Aguilar says Bravo knew his son and believes they may have been fighting over a girl. "They were friends," noted a student at his former school. "So there was a kind of a crazy moment when you have to question, 'Is that really your friend.'"
The 18-year-old Aguilar graduated at the top of his class at Doral Academy and left Miami to study Biomedical Engineering. Those at Aguilar's former school who did not leave South Florida for the search are doing all they can to help. "We've taken up a collection for the family here at the school," said Principal Douglas Rodriguez, "and we're ready to support them by sending the first $2,000 to the family, so they can stay up in Gainesville as long as they need to."
Former classmates at Doral Academy had only positive things to say about Aguilar, Monday morning. "He always wanted to help out everybody," said Ashley Peguero. "When we heard he went missing, a lot of girls were crying. Even I'm sad about it. The dude's like really awesome."
"You never see him with a frown on his face," added Natassia Castro. "It's just something really, really sad. We hope that they find him. Our prayers are out with his family."
Christian's father is holding out hope that his son is just injured and may not be able to seek help. "I have hope that God is going to be with me, and I'm going to find him out there, and that he's going to be beat up but OK," said his father.
Aguilar said he still needs all the help he can get to search the woods and hopes more volunteers will join in the search.
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