Search continues for missing Gainesville teen
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The search for 18-year-old Christian Aguilar continues and his family and friends have become even more desperate.
"We all hope Christian is alive if we find him, but prepare yourself, you might find a dead body," said a Gainesville police officer.
And now the story has become even more murky.
Police arrested 18-year-old Pedro Bravo, a high school classmate of Aguilar, Monday night. He is facing an unusual charge of depriving a victim of a crime medical treatment.
Detectives said Bravo and Aguilar, a University of Florida freshman, fought over a girl last Thursday, and, in an interview with police, Bravo told them he left Aguilar unconscious and badly beaten.
"Pedro told us that he and Christian were involved in an altercation," said Officer Ben Tobias of Gainesville Police. "It was a very serious altercation, and that he left Christian on the side of the road."
But, they said, he's changed his story several times. "There's no evidence to support a crime at this point," noted Tobias. "We do know that Christian unfortunately has not been found, and we do have a statement that Pedro has given us. But under Florida state law, that does not constitute a crime."
"He's still alive and out there," said the victim's father, Carlos Aguilar.
Relatives of the Doral Academy graduate have headed to Gainesville to help in the search. With dogs, helicopters and volunteers, so far they have found nothing. "It's the most surreal thing I've had to do," said the victim's cousin, Angel Valencia. "While I'm lifting bushes and breaking branches I'm thinking 'Am I really doing this for the reason I'm doing this? Is this real right now?'"
"I cannot do it by myself," said the victim's father. "But I'm going to try. That's all I can say."
Police have also released a photo of Pedro Bravo's car in the hopes that someone may have seen something.
At Doral Academy, students are shocked. "It's kind of a scary moment, like 'Wow is that really your friend?' You have to question that sometimes," said a former classmate at Doral Academy.
"He always wanted to help out everybody," said another former classmate.
And now, six Doral Academy teachers are helping and have headed to Gainesville to assist in the search. Teachers, faculty and students are also raising money for the family. "We've started a collection for the family here at the school," said Doral Academy Principal Douglas Rodriguez, "and we're going to support them by sending the first $2,000 so that Christian's family can stay there as long as they need to."
And under the picture of him that still hangs at Doral Academy, there's a note that reads: "Come back safe."
Pedro Bravo has been arrested and will face a judge Tuesday morning. He faces a third degree felony.
A prayer vigil has been set up for both Christian and Pedro. The vigil is tonight at 7:30 at North Trail Park in West Miami-Dade. "The prayer tonight is to see if he appears obviously, alive, and for Pedro, I don't know, that justice does its part," said one former classmate.
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