Officer honored in rescue efforts for missing UF student
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Gainesville Police Department, along with students, were honored for their rescue efforts in the search of a missing University of Florida student.
Eighteen-year-old Christian Aguilar is still missing and feared dead, but his family, friends and students at his former high school are determined to find him. "I searched a few times, but it's hard, and when you go out searching you expect to find something, but when you don't it's heartbreaking," said student Natalie Ramos.
The Aguilar family returned to Doral Academy Friday afternoon for a special ceremony to honor the Gainesville Police and all the students who have given their time and energy to aid in the search. "Knowing that Doral is behind my son, makes a difference," said Carlos Aguilar. "Walking today in this school is one of the hardest things that I have done in this process."
Special guest, Gainesville police officer Terry Ferro made the trip to the school to personally thank the kids for their support. "Your letters inspired us to keep going. All the bake sales and things you were doing to support the family, I can't say enough," said Ferro.
The school and students thanked Ferro with a crystal plaque and a special permanent welcome to Doral Academy. "We want you to wear the highest number jersey from our football team to let you know you are officially a Firebird," said Principal Douglas Rodriguez, "and we care deeply and welcome you for everything you did for this family."
"He was one of those helping us in those woods, and those areas, searching for Christian, and still is helping us find my son," said the father.
Officer Ferro vowed to keep looking for Aguilar and bring closure to his family as well as his school family. "Even though the big scale search is no longer on, there are still small scale searches, and I'm always looking for clues and tips, and it's always in my head," Ferro said.
Aguilar's father said will not give up on searching for his son. "We haven't found Christian, we are never going to give up," he said. "Somebody wrote in a letter a Firebird is a Firebird forever. I have to find that Firebird and bring it back somehow."
Pedro Bravo, former classmate of Aguilar is behind bars charged with his kidnapping and murder.
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