Family and friends have been helping police search for 18-year-old Christian Aguilar who was last seen in a Gainesville Best Buy store with his 18-year-old friend Pedro Bravo.
Photographer: Gainsville Police
Pedro Bravo has been charged with first-degree murder in the case of a missing University of Florida student.
Bravo was charged with murder because he previously said he beat 18-year-old Christian Aguilar until he was bloody, swollen and barely breathing, according to a Daily Mail report.
Bravo was denied bond during his first court appearance Saturday in the alleged killing.
At the court hearing, a judge assessed the case.
Aguilar's body has not been found. He was was last seen about 6 p.m. September 20, said Gainesville Police Officer Ben Tobias.
"We would ... encourage property owners, residential or business, who may have lime rock roads on their property, that were accessible to the general public, to search those properties for any suspicious areas of ground that appear to have been disturbed," Tobias said. "We are also requesting information from anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle, likened to a Blue Chevy Blazer, in any remote areas on the night of Thursday, September 20."
Police told Aguilar's family about the murder charge -- and, with it, the presumption the college student was dead.
"Christian's family is heartbroken, as expected," the police spokesman said.
Bravo told investigators he got into "an altercation with Aguilar" the night the college student went missing, police said.
Bravo then left Aguilar in a parking lot in the central Florida city, prompting police to warn that Aguilar may be disoriented and/or seriously injured.
Aguilar's father told CNN affiliate WCJB that his son disappeared after a fight over a girl.
After talking with police a day after his disappearance, Bravo was held for mental examination after threatening to harm or kill himself. He was later charged with depriving a victim of medical care, a third-degree felony, and was in custody at the time he was charged with murder, according to Tobias.
Authorities have used helicopters and K-9 units to search for Aguilar, to no avail. His relatives have plastered the area with fliers, taken to Twitter to generate leads and invited a nonprofit search group to help look for him alongside family members and police.
Gainesville police posted a fresh plea Friday night, on the department's Facebook page, asking volunteers to report to the Florida Farm Bureau at 9 a.m. Saturday to resume the search for Aguilar.
Bravo's lawyer said his family initially volunteered to help in the search, only to be politely turned down by the victim's relatives.
CNN's Joe Sutton and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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