Teen charged with UF student's murder

Carlos Aguilar, father of missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, 18, reacts to an undisclosed update regarding his son's whereabouts Friday, September 28, 2012.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 6:38 p.m.

Police charged Pedro Andres Bravo with first-degree murder late Friday afternoon in the disappearance of University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.

"Our deepest sympathy is with the Aguilar family today," Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias said at a 6 p.m. news conference at the Florida Farm Bureau, 5700 SW 34th St.

"The body has not been recovered," Tobias added. "The search will continue on Saturday."

Bravo, 18, was previously charged in the case with leaving the victim of a crime in need of medical assistance. Bravo reportedly told police he beat Aguilar unconscious and left him in a parking lot on Northwest 13th Street.

Aguilar was last seen with Bravo, 18, in a Best Buy store on Sept. 20, police said. Police, family and friends have been searching for Aguilar, 18, since he disappeared that same day.

Police say the fight may have been over a girl named Erika Friman, who both of the men dated, but whom Aguilar was dating now.

During Friday's news conference, Tobias asked residents or businesses who have limerock driveways or live on limerock roads to look for disturbances in the limerock that could indicate suspicious activity.

Family members received some news from police and quickly left the Farm Bureau, which has served as a base for volunteers, before the news conference.

"The family didn't want any more attention today," Tobias said. "This is now a recovery and not a search."

There were hints that the case would take such a turn on Friday. At an earlier media briefing, Tobias mentioned that the department was "looking for Christian to give the family closure."

Despite the new evidence, Tobias would not elaborate as to why the new charge was given, or how it came about, but said in an 8 p.m. news release that he'd have new information today.

He did say that some of the law enforcement agencies helping with the search have now gone home, and he mentioned that anyone who wants to help in the continuing search for Aguilar should show up at the Farm Bureau at 9 a.m. today.

Tobias also said anyone with information should call GPD at 393-7670. Volunteers also can check the GPD Facebook page for the latest information on the search.

Correspondent William Kennedy contributed to this report.

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