Foul play suspected in disappearance of UF student
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 6:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 6:18 p.m.
The father of a missing University of Florida student said his son was beaten by a friend and left in an area of northwest Gainesville, adding that a suspect was taken into custody for an involuntary mental health evaluation but has not been arrested.
Christian Aguilar, 18, was last seen at 6 p.m. Thursday near Streit's Motorsports on Northwest 13th Street north of 39th Avenue.
"As a father, I am in agony. It has already been two days," Carlos Aguilar, his father, said Saturday. "The more the time passes, the less chance he has to survive."
Aguilar's family and friends were searching the area of U.S. 441 between 39th and 53rd avenues for any signs of Aguilar.
The Gainesville Police Department on Saturday said investigators believe foul play is involved and is asking the public to report anything suspicious they may have seen or found in the area.
"We believe foul play is involved and we are asking business owners, especially in the northwest, to check around their businesses to see if he happens to be there," said Gainesville police Officer Ben Tobias. "We're asking everyone to be on the lookout for him. We have some information gained in the investigation that indicates foul play."
Carlos Aguilar said his son was beaten by a man he knows. The man was involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation and has since gotten a lawyer.
"They had a suspect in custody. He confessed that he beat up my son and left him injured in an area with a lot of woods," Carlos Aguilar said. "We are looking, and we need all of the help we can get. They were friends and got into an argument. He said he got really upset and beat up my son. The police now cannot talk to him because he has an attorney."
Tobias said Aguilar's friend told police there was an altercation between to the two and that the friend, 18, was committed under Florida's Baker Act for being suicidal. Tobias described the friend as a "person of interest."
Aguilar is from Miami and lives in the Springs Complex, a UF dorm. Police described him as 5-foot-3 on Friday, but friends said Aguilar is actually 5-foot-10.
Carlos Aguilar said his son is majoring in biomedical engineering and is dating a girl whom the suspect dated previously in Miami. Carlos Aguilar said he believes the suspect planned the attack.
Gainesville Police Department detectives are assisting the University of Florida Police Department with the missing persons case. Anyone with information on Aguilar's whereabouts can call the GPD Criminal Investigations Division at 393-7604.