Photos and Videos
Blood was found in the sports utility vehicle of Pedro Bravo, the man accused of murdering missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, police said. Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias and Bravo's attorney, Ron Kozlowski, discussed the case.
Blood was found in the sports utility vehicle of Pedro Bravo, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the case of missing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, Gainesville Police said Saturday.
The Florida Department of law enforcement said it will rush test the blood in the vehicle and compare it with DNA samples from Aguilar, 18. Authorities said they also discovered Aguilar's backpack hidden inside of a suitcase in Bravo's closet.
Also on Saturday, UF scientists confirmed that lime rock residue was also found in the vehicle, leaving Gainesvlle Police to believe Aguilar is located near areas of lime rock.
Bravo, 18, the friend and former classmate of Aguilar, was held in jail without bond Saturday for first-degree premeditated murder. Police say Bravo changed his story after being confronted with evidence.
Bravo was charged Friday, although he was first arrested on Monday for depriving a crime victim of medical care. Neither Aguilar nor a body has been discovered, according to Gainesville Police.
Bravo told authorities that he took Aguilar’s cell phone and took it into the woods – a critical piece of evidence that could help pinpoint where to find Aguilar, police said. But they said they still need more information.
“In our mind, cooperation would be telling us where Christian is. And we don’t know where Christian is, so in our mind, that’s not cooperation,” Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said.
Bravo appeared in bond court Saturday morning. The case is far from over, his attorney Ron Kozlowski said.
“We’ve told you this before. Since the day the police first questioned him, they had him for somewhere between 8 to 12 hours," Kozlowski said. "They talked to him, they interrogated him, he drove them around town, he showed them what he said he knew."
Florida Gov. Rick Scott was scheduled to help search for the student on Saturday, according to officials.
Along with other volunteers, Scott planned to search for three hours in the wooded area near 5700 SW 34 St. in Gainesville.
Back in South Florida, a donation station for the Aguilar family was scheduled between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Sweetwater City Hall.
"We just need to raise money so we can keep the family up there and help with any expenses that they need," said Jenina Valdes, who said she graduated with Aguilar.
She also spoke to NBC 6 South Florida about the new charge against Bravo.
“There are so many rumors going around, but again, both Pedro and Christian were very good friends, they were very good people, and for this to happen, I mean, this broke our hearts completely,” she said.
The family of the missing teenager asked for water, snacks, machetes and rubber boots. It also requested volunteers.
"The search has not stopped in any way and we need more volunteers," said Michelle LaPiana, who has a daughter in Gainesville assisting in the search. "It's not going to stop until we recover Chris Aguilar for his parents."
Aguilar has been missing since Thursday, Sept. 20. Numerous police agencies and volunteers have spent day after day searching woods and other areas around Gainesville for signs of Aguilar with little to show for their efforts.
On Wednesday, Gainesville Police said Bravo bought a shovel and roll of duct tape "several days" before the disappearance.