As friends and strangers, police officers and relatives trudged through thick brush Wednesday, bound by the single mission of finding University of Florida freshman Christian Aguilar, police revealed ominous details about the prime suspect in the disappearance, casting a pall over an increasingly grim search.
Police said Pedro Bravo, the last person seen with Aguilar, bought a shovel and duct tape days before Aguilar’s Sept. 20 disappearance. After searching the wooded fields around Gainesville, investigators have not found a shovel, tape or any other evidence.
Nor have they found any sign of Aguilar, an 18-year-old freshman who went to high school with Bravo at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in west Miami-Dade.
“It’s eating me alive to find out that Pedro could have actually planned this,” said father Carlos Aguilar, 45, of west Miami-Dade. “It’s hard to think about, but I still have faith and I am hoping my son is alive.”
Aguilar’s younger son, Alexander, 16, now a student at Doral Academy, said the newest development was “scary.”
“I am trying to stay positive, trying not to let myself think of the worst-case scenario,” he said Wednesday.
Bravo, a student at Gainesville’s Santa Fe College, told police that he fought with Aguilar, beating him for 10 to 15 minutes before leaving Aguilar “bloody, swollen and barely breathing or moving” in a wooded area, court records show.