Teen Charged in Connection to the Disappearance of UF Freshman Bought Shovel, Duct Tape: Police - NBC 6 South Florida

Teen Charged in Connection to the Disappearance of UF Freshman Bought Shovel, Duct Tape: Police

Family, friends and police resume search for missing teen



    Teen Charged in Connection to Disappearance of UF Freshman Bought Shovel, Duct Tape: Police

    Pedro Bravo bought the items "several days" before the disappearance of Christian Aguilar, Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias said. Aguilar's father, Carlos, and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maroño spoke about the search for the missing 18-year-old student. (Published Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012)

    The teen charged in connection to the disappearance of a University of Florida freshman from Miami bought a shovel and roll of duct tape days before the student vanished, police said Wednesday.

    Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias said the items were bought by 18-year-old Pedro Bravo "several days" before the disappearance of Christian Aguilar.

    "It's a small shovel, it's not a giant shovel but I can only speculate what it could be used for at this point," Tobias said at a news conference Wednesday. He added that the shovel and duct tape haven't been found.

    Aguilar, 18, hasn't been seen since last Thursday, and Tobias said police believe Bravo knows where he is.

    "We believe that he's the only person that knows the whereabouts of Christian, so I know for us and for the family with him having that information it's kind of frustrating," Tobias said. "It's frustrating because he knows where he is and obviously at this point we've been searching for days and we're not uncovering anything."

    Tobias said Aguilar's cell phone was turned off at 8:14 p.m. Thursday. The phone hasn't been found, but investigators are analyzing the cell phone data.

    "We're gonna hold a search until we run out of fresh information, our investigators are still recovering some things from some search warrants that we've executed and we're still getting some information coming in in our tip line," Tobias said.

    Doral Academy Holds Vigil For Missing UF Teen

    [MI] Doral Academy Holds Vigil For Missing UF Teen
    More than 200 people gathered at North Trail Park Tuesday night to show support for missing University of Florida teenager Christian Aguilar. The attendees, many of them teenagers themselves, lit the park with candles. The teenager's cousin, Luz Lozada, spoke to NBC 6 South Florida.
    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012)

    Meanwhile, family, friends and police resumed their searched in Gainesville Wednesday for Aguilar. Police spent Tuesday searching several wooded areas by foot and with a helicopter, with nothing found other than a shoe that doesn't appear to have been worn by Aguilar.

    Family Keeping Faith Missing UF Student Will Be Found Safe

    The searches covered areas including the Gainesville Alachua County Airport, the Airport Industrial Park, and the State Road 121 corridor, according to Tobias.

    He said in an email statement that more locations will be searched on Thursday, and some spots "will be recombed now that it has been learned that Pedro purchased a shovel."

    Sweetwater Police have responded to assist with bloodhounds and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office responded with cadaver dogs, but nothing was found, police said.

    A command post was relocated to the Alachua County Fairgrounds Wednesday.

    Family and Friends of Missing UF Teen Speak

    [MI] Family and Friends of Missing UF Teen Speak
    Friends of Christian Aguilar spoke to NBC 6 at Doral Academy. They said the uncertainty of his state is "killing" them. The teenager's father, Carlos Aguilar, said that he is glad an arrest has been made because he believes the man holds the keys to his son's whereabouts.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012)

    Aguilar's parents, Carlos and Claudia, have been joined by dozens of friends and family members to help search for Aguilar, a graduate of Doral Academy Preparatory High School.

    Doral Academy Holds Vigil for Missing Teen

    The school told parents Wednesday that its teachers, staff and alumni have traveled to Gainesville to help with the search.

    "We want to let our parents and students know that we understand this is a very difficult time," Doral Academy said in a message sent to parents. "Our school counselors are available at any time within school hours to speak with students."

    Bravo remained behind bars Wednesday on $100,000 bond on a charge of depriving a crime victim of medical care related to Aguilar's disappearance.

    Bravo, 18, was arrested Monday. Gainesville Police say he told investigators he was involved in an altercation with Aguilar the day he disappeared.

    Also on Monday, police released a surveillance photo of Aguilar and Bravo at a Best Buy at 3790 Southwest Archer Road around 3 p.m. Thursday, which is the last actual sighting of Aguilar.

    Tobias said the two went to the store to buy the new Kanye West CD. The jewel case and wrapping from the CD have been found, Tobias said.

    Bravo allegedly left Aguilar in a parking lot in the 4900 block of Northwest 13th Street, but police said he may be seriously injured. Authorities suspect foul play.

    Bravo appeared in bond court Tuesday, where Aguilar's mother pleaded with him for more information.

    "Pedro, we ask directly to you, to give us one clue, one address, any place where he may remember where my son could be, no more," Claudia Aguilar said.

    Carlos Aguilar said it's unlike his son to disappear and not contact the family.

    After Tuesday's hearing, Bravo's attorney, Larry Turner, said his client is very concerned about Christian Aguilar.

    "These are two best friends, best friends get into fights just like brothers and sisters get into fights," Turner said. "We're hoping that Christian is alive and well and that he will be found in good health. The family is praying for that, they've offered to assist."

    Father of Missing Teen Asks for Help in Search

    Tuesday night, more than 200 people gathered at North Trail Park in Miami for a vigil for the missing teen.

    "I don't know if he's alive or not, I just hope that he's alive,” said Aguilar's cousin, Luz Losada.

    The search had also spread to social media. A Facebook page called Find Christian Aguilar was set up and the hashtag #HelpFindChris was being used on Twitter.

    In addition, Doral Academy said it is accepting donations to help the Aguilar family with the search. Click here for more information.

    Anyone with any information in the case is asked to contact Gainesville Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau at 352-393-7670.

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