The search for Christian Aguilar continued Wednesday at the Alachua County Fairgrounds. The University of Florida student went missing Thursday, and despite extensive search efforts, no evidence has been found.
Authorities’ main suspect is Santa Fe student Pedro Bravo, who is believed to be the last person to have seen Aguilar before he went missing. Police said Bravo purchased a small shovel and duct tape a few days prior to Aguilar’s disappearance.
Aguilar’s father, Carlos Aguilar, said the shovel and duct tape may not have been meant for his 18-year-old son, but he was surprised by the evidence and worried about what it could mean for his son.
“It definitely is something I was not expecting because this can indicate premeditation,” he said.
Neither the shovel nor the duct tape has been recovered.
Carlos Aguilar believes if Bravo is involved with his son’s disappearance, then his motive could have been jealousy.
“My belief is this is not something related to a girl,” he said. “This is something more a jealousy … that he (Bravo) knew my son was living a dream that he wanted for himself and was not able to achieve.”
Although Bravo has spoken little to law enforcement and Aguilar’s family, Carlos Aguilar said Bravo has misled everyone from the beginning.
“One of the things I want you to understand is he is a pathological liar,” Carlos said. “He’s been putting a bluff that it’s something regarding a relationship or something regarding a woman — that’s not true.
As the search continues, the number of volunteers looking for Aguilar continues to grow. Many UF students are helping with the search, and many Miami community members have traveled to Gainesville to join the search party.
Aguilar’s former teacher, Andrea Fuentes, came to Gainesville from Miami and said she wants to do anything she can to help.
“A lot of the teachers, families, friends are concerned, and they said they needed volunteeers to pass fliers,” said Fuentes, who teaches at Aguilar’s alma mater, Doral Academy in Miami.
Sabrina Reyes, a former classmate of Aguilar, said the principal of Doral Academy will not penalize students for joining the search party and will excuse their absences.
“We’re still out here if anyone can come and help the search group,” said Reyes, a sophomore at Doral Academy. “We need all the help we can get, and we will find him soon.”
Emily Miller edited this story online.