Aguilar family remembers student on birthday
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- The family of a murdered University of Florida student marked a painful anniversary Friday.
Christian Aguilar's loved ones spent what would have been his 19th birthday at his grave site. Aguilar's body was found in October. His friend and classmate is accused of killing him. "There's no way that I can express it," said Carlos Aguilar, the father of the murder victim. "It's painful."
They looked back on his life with fond memories, but, on the same day, they are learning new details of his death. "Very painful, very sad," said the father. "You know, it's my son's birthday, the first time that he's not going to be around."
On a day that should have been a celebration, the father is learning, according to an indictment from the State Attorney, that the suspect in his son's murder, Pedro Bravo, poisoned him. The indictment was released on Thursday. It stated that Bravo used a chemical compound to sedate Aguilar with malicious intent. An autopsy report revealed the chemical compound in his system.
Aguilar's father said he found some comfort in the news of the new information. "Very difficult for a father to find out how his son died, but at the same time it was like a gift coming from Christian. We were wondering how he died."
Aguilar's former classmates at Doral Academy learned about the details and reacted to them Friday morning. "I just keep hearing bad news about it, and I just hope that he rests in peace," said student Jasmine Schaeffler.
On Sept. 29, Aguilar appeared on store surveillance video at a Gainesville Best Buy with Bravo, a former Doral Academy classmate.
Police said Bravo confessed that after the trip to the store, he beat Aguilar and left him to die in the woods.
Rescue teams searched a large area around Gainesville and found nothing, but Aguilar's father still had hope he was alive. "We're not going to give up, even if the police stop supporting me. I'm going to become a part of Gainesville. Until I've found my son," said Carlos Aguilar during the search.
Weeks after his son went missing, Aguilar's father received the news that, 60 miles from Gainesville, hunters found his son's body. A cross now marks the spot where his corpse was found.
Aguilar said he knows there is a long road to justice ahead, but, he said, "The authorities, we have to trust them. They are proving more and more that the evidence points to the right person and that justice is going to be served."
The indictment details seven charges against Bravo, including murder, kidnapping and now poisoning. He is being held without bond. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty once this case goes to trial.
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