Pedro Bravo: Man arrested as search continues for Christian Aguilar, missing UF student from Miami

A friend of a missing Miami man who attends the University of Florida in Gainesville was arrested Monday.

Pedro Bravo, 18, is accused of denying a crime victim medical care to Christian Aguilar, 18, and was being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond Monday night, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Aguilar was last seen about 6 p.m. Thursday in a parking lot along U.S. 441 a few miles from downtown Gainesville, according to a Gainesville Police Department news release.

Aguilar's father, Carlos Aguilar, was shown on South Florida television news reports, machete in hand, searching for his son in a wooded area.

The father told WSVN-Ch. 7 that he hopes to find his son and that "he's going to be beat up, but OK."

Aguilar's girlfriend, Erika Friman, told the student-run newspaper The Independent Florida Alligator, "It's heartbreaking that this would happen to someone who is so good."

The missing man has a history of depression, Gainesville police said.

Before the college freshman disappeared, he and Bravo had a confrontation, police said. Bravo told investigators he left Aguilar in a parking lot, police said.

After telling police he wanted to harm himself, Bravo was held for examination under Florida's Baker Act on Friday, police said.

Aguilar is 5 feet 3 inches tall with a medium build and was wearing a blue/gray hooded sweat shirt and light blue or gray jeans.

He is a 2012 graduate of the Doral Academy in Miami, where his brother Alex Aguilar is a junior.

"He was a stellar student," Principal Douglas Rodriguez said of the missing man who spent his middle and high school years at the academy. "He was very, very motivated, at the top of his class in terms of GPA, and was in dual enrollment."

Aguilar completed college freshman-level courses in math and science during his senior year, Rodriguez said, and studied biomedical engineering.

Students at the academy have raised $2,000 to pay for the Aguilar family's expenses while they stay in Gainesville during the search.

Some of the academy's students are upset, Rodriguez said, and have received counseling.

"We're very hopeful there will be a positive outcome," Rodriguez said.

In February 1989, another UF student with South Florida ties, 20-year-old Tiffany Sessions, disappeared while walking near campus. If she is still alive, Sessions would be 43.

Her father, real estate developer Patrick Sessions, launched a national awareness campaign about his daughter and became an activist for missing children and their families.

Staff reporter Wayne K. Roustan contributed to this story.


Comments