Pedro Bravo denies visitation by missing UF student's family

Christian Aguilar still missing; Pedro Bravo remains in jail

MIAMI – The teenager charged in connection with the disappearance of a University of Florida student denied a visitation by the missing student's family.

Christian Aguilar was last seen on September 20. Pedro Bravo, a friend from high school, is charged in connection with his disappearance.

Bravo remains in jail on a $100,000 bond. He is charged with Depriving a Victim of Medical Care, a third-degree felony.

On Thursday, Bravo denied a visitation by Christian's brother and girlfriend. Bravo and Aguilar's girlfriend dated while the three were in high school at Doral Academy.

According to investigators, Aguilar and Bravo got into a fight on Thursday. Bravo told police he beat Aguilar up and left him by a field on the UF campus, but has not said much since, according to detectives in Gainesville.

The family of Aguilar hoped to talk to Bravo on Thursday. Carlos Aguilar, Christian's father, was trying to arrange for his wife to go to the jail and talk to Bravo and his parents.

"At the beginning, I wanted to go but I don't think I'm the appropriate person because of the feelings," said Carlos Aguilar. "I need someone that can get the information that we need and I think that's my wife so she is the one that is going to be going

After meeting with the Gainesville police chief and mayor, Carlos Aguilar said he felt good news was coming.

"I still haven't seen my son, but it's hope, is more hope that I'm going to -- soon, soon," said Carlos Aguilar. "Today is, you know, more clear day, more beautiful day then yesterday even though I still haven't seen my son, but it's still hope, more hope that I'm going to soon soon getting closer to him."

On Wednesday, investigators said Bravo purchased a shovel and duct tape a few days before Aguilar went missing.

Search continues for Aguilar

The search for Aguilar continued as a live search Thursday morning.

"We're still not going to go down that recovery path. We're not prepared to do that. We're still treating this as a live search until we get some definitive evidence to put us in another direction," said Gainesville Police Officer Ben Tobias.

Meanwhile, a 6 1/2-year-old bloodhound named Suzie and her handler, Deputy Kevin Bolling are on their way to the scene after the Gainesville sheriff requested that a BSO bloodhound join in the search for Aguilar.

Early Thursday, Carlos Aguilar met with the Gainesville mayor and police chief.

"The chief wanted to reassure the family that there are people working literally around the clock behind the scenes to push these search people into correct areas," said Tobias.

Several other law enforcement agencies are assisting with the search, including:

  • Alachua County Sheriff's Office
  • Miami Dade Fire Rescue
  • Miami Dade Police Department
  • Doral Police Department
  • Miramar Fire Rescue
  • Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
  • Sweetwater Police Department
  • Brevard County Sheriff's Office
  • Medley Police Department
  • Florida Highway Patrol
  • Laffette County Sheriff's Office
  • Cedar Key Police Department
  • Columbia County Sheriff's Office
  • Glades County Sheriff's Office
  • Putnam County Sheriff's Office
  • Levy County Sheriff's Office
  • Texas Equisearch
  • Central Florida Search and Rescue
  • FBI
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • US Marshals

"There is a frustration because we, you know, a lot of us out here are law enforcement officers. We're also parents, too," said Tobias. "You know, behind the badge is a person and it's very frustrating that we have a family out here that is missing their child today."

Investigators said at least 10 square miles of wooded area had been searched by foot. Other areas were also searched by helicopter, all-terrain vehicle, and K-9 and mounted patrol units.

"It can be really frustrating trying to deal with all the areas, so, I mean, but we're doing one at a time. Going ahead and dealing with that area and moving on to the next area," said Jose Trigo with the Doral Police Department.

Maria Londono, the Consulate General of Colombia, arrived Thursday to speak with the Aguilars.

"We are going to do everything we can in order to find Christian," said Londono.

Carlos Aquilar asks anyone who knows what happened to his son to come forward.

Tips about what happened to Christian should be made by calling 352-393-7670.