Girlfriend speaks out about missing UF student
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Though reports have said an alleged fight over a girl led to the disappearance of a freshman University of Florida student, that girl is now speaking out saying she does not believe that to be true.
Everyone gathered in a prayer circle Tuesday before the search resumed for Christian Aguilar, an 18-year-old who moved from Doral to Gainesville to further his education. "I named him Christian because it means 'sent from God,'" said Christian's father Carlos Aguilar. "He was was gift from God."
Aguilar is now hoping his second gift from God will be finding his son alive. No one has seen the 18-year-old since Thursday. "It kills you that you don't know," said Carlos. "That's what's eating me alive."
The father's frustration has made detectives more determined. They've already arrested 18-year-old Pedro Bravo and a judge has already ordered he be held on a hefty $100,000 bond. He faces the unusual charge of depriving a victim of a crime medical care.
Police said Bravo admitted the former high school classmates got in to a fight, and he left an unconscious Aguilar in a patch of woods. "It's like a never-ending nightmare," said Aguilar's girlfriend Erika Friman. There have been media reports stating the fight between the two was over her since she also used to date Bravo, but she denies the rumors and said the two boys were friends.
"I'm just so confused and so struck for words," said Friman. And police may be confused too. Even though detectives said Bravo confessed to beating up Aguilar and leaving him in the woods, they also said he has changed his story a few times.
Police said the two were seen at about 6:15 p.m. at a Best Buy the day Aguilar disappeared, but there are few other hard facts.
In the meantime, Aguilar's family and friends have helped police with the search for Christian. Most of them are from Miami and many of his former classmates and teachers, including his former principal at Doral Academy have joined the search. "Obviously, I'm horrified, terrified, scared for the family," said Aguilar's former principal, Douglas Rodriguez. "Knowing the student as well as I did and knowing his academic accomplishments and personality, it's certainly a great concern."
Search teams have split up and are combing wooded areas all around Gainesville. They are using walking sticks and machetes in hopes that they will find Aguilar's cellular phone or a piece of his clothing, but so far, they have found nothing.
The search is now done for the day but will resume Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. They hope to search different wooded areas of Gainesville that they have not been able to reach yet. Police said they still have no idea where Christian Aguilar might be.
Since school is out Wednesday, many of Christian's former classmates plan on heading to Gainesville on a bus to help in the search. "We just need to come together as the Firebird family and help out," said Maria Diaz.
On Tuesday night, Doral Academy students organized a candle light vigil for Christian at North Trail Park in Doral. "I know a lot of time has passed," said Nauel Palis who organized the vigil and graduated with Aguilar. "But we all have hope and the prayer tonight is obviously to pray for him to be alive."
"I need all of you to pray, and to always remember to have faith," said a friend of Aguilar who attended the vigil.
"Wherever he is, he is listening to us today," said another friend. "He is listening to our voices and he is listening to our prayers and that is what's keeping him alive."
Pedro Bravo remains in Alachua County Jail, has hired a lawyer and is using his right to remain silent.
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