Volunteers no longer needed in Aguilar case, GPD says


Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8:18 p.m.

Gainesville Police say they no longer need volunteers to search for missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.

"The Gainesville Police Department, along with the Aguilar family, has been overwhelmed with the volunteer turnout to help in the search and recovery of Christian Aguilar," GPD spokesman Ben Tobias said in a statement. "The volunteer check-in post will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 5th. After that time, GPD will no longer be coordinating a volunteer portion of the operation."

Tobias said the decision came because when the search began, large general areas needed to be combed. Now that those large areas have been searched, he said, remaining areas are limited and require extra care.

"Anything that is found at this point of the investigation will be considered evidence," he said. "And we can't risk the integrity of that evidence being handled by anyone but law enforcement."

Aguilar, 18, disappeared on Sept. 20. He was last seen with his friend Pedro Bravo, 18, in a Best Buy.

Bravo reportedly told police he beat Aguilar unconscious and then left him in a parking lot on Northwest 13th Street. Bravo was arrested and charged with leaving the victim of a crime in need of medical assistance, and later with first-degree murder after police say they found that he bought a shovel and duct tape days before Aguilar's disappearance.

Police say the fight may have been over a girl named Erika Friman, who both of the men dated.

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