More than a dozen people who work for the City of Sweetwater were en route to North Central Florida Tuesday morning to help search for 18-year-old University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.
The team, made up of police officers and other city workers, plan to help the family search for the teen, who has been missing for 12 days.
"All my guys here are on their day off, said Chief Roberto Figueira of the Sweetwater Police Department. "They've all volunteered to go because they see what's going on and what that man is going through."
The caravan included a mix of supplies and fourteen all-terrain vehicles to help search in wooded areas.
The police chief said he is staying in touch with the missing boy's father.
"He's holding up a lot better than I would, to be honest with you," Figueira said. "It's just very tough what he is going through, and yes, we feel the pain."
Gainesville police have charged Pedro Bravo, Aguilar's friend and former Doral Academy classmate, with murder. Bravo had previously been charged with depriving a victim of medical treatment.
Investigators said Bravo confessed to beating Aguilar after they confronted him with new evidence, including the discovery of blood in bravo's vehicle and Aguilar's backpack inside a suitcase in Bravo's closet.
"Truth of the matter is they need the help," said Figueira.