As search continues, UF offers support for those coping with Christian Aguilar’s disappearance

By on October 3rd, 2012

By Sanika Dange – WUFT-FM

As the search for UF freshman Christian Aguilar approaches the two-week mark, the Aguilar family isn’t giving up the search, and UF offices are ramping up efforts to provide support for those who may be affected by Aguilar’s disappearance.

Police officers, volunteers and the family have been searching the Gainesville area for Aguilar, but so far have been unsuccessful.

The Gainesville Police Department announced earlier this has been turned into a search and recover mission. But the Aguilar family is not giving up.

“So far they haven’t canceled the search,” Carlos Aguilar said. “We’re going to stay over here as long as we can with the people that are coming. We’ve been planning already for Monday and Tuesday of next week.”

Aguilar said he wishes the Gainesville community would come out in larger numbers.

Meanwhile, University of Florida’s Crisis and Emergency Resource Center is preparing its counselors to best help those affected by the 18-year-old’s disappearance.

“The search is ongoing, so many folks who are likely impacted by this are still very much involved in the ongoing search,” said Sarah Nash, assistant coordinator for the center. “As things unfold, we are certainly looking ahead towards how to most be a value.”

Nash said the center is looking for ways to expand its reach on campus such as going into classrooms or holding group sessions at designated locations.

“Since the first night that we became aware of this — which was the first night anyone became aware of it — we have been communicating daily about how to best serve our students and address the needs that are arising,” she said.

Megan Sixby, associate director for the crisis and emergency resource center, said the office is communicating with other departments on campus to evaluate what type of counseling is necessary.

“We’ve also been talking about if we need to hold some additional kind of informal meetings,” she said.

Sixby said it is possible that counseling resources may not be needed because of the support Christian’s family and friends are giving one another.

“There has just been a lot of support and that really speaks to how when things become difficult people really pull together and unite,” she said. “I think the strength and the resilience in our campus community and our community at large has really been seen as well as with Christian’s family and his friends from down south.”

Volunteers or people interested in donating any food, water, or first aid supplies for the search can visit the Florida Farm Bureau from 9 to 5 every day.

Emily Miller edited this story online.

This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Local

Thaddeus Bullard sits with homeless couple, Joe and Vivian Mulligan, as he listens to their story.

UF Hall Of Famer And WWE Superstar Feeds The Homeless

Former Gator great Thaddeus Bullard is completing his challenge of 3,000 volunteer hours to the Gator Nation. Along the way, he stopped by the St. Francis House house to help serve food and mingle with the crowd.

IFAS researchers have been involved in an experiment to uncover ways to create tastier and sturdier blueberries.

Florida Researchers Aim To Breed Better Blueberries

Researchers tested 19 different types of blueberries, which were ranked based on overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness and flavor intensity to determine what type of blueberry people liked and which type would produce consistent results when grown in different environments.

A completed portion of the remediation project consists of green berms sloping downhill towards the wetlands. The brown sections are coconut sodding mats with seeding that will grow from them. Photo by Conor Soper.

Gainesville Landfill Transforms Into Floodplain

A decades-old Gainesville landfill will soon be transformed into a functioning floodplain. The old landfill near the Gainesville Regional Airport has caused erosion and affected the quality of the local water for humans and wildlife. The $1.88 million project to remediate the landfill has been in progress since April, but the landfill has a history dating back more than half a century ago.

A lack of parking spaces at The Grove causes many residents to park illegally, blocking roads. Photo by Kaley Thomas.

Limited Parking For Grove Residents Prompts Towing

Due to a lack of parking spots in the Grove, residents are illegally parking and getting towed.

The Alachua County Commission meeting on Tuesday.

County Programs Receive Word On Funding For 2016

The Alachua County Commission approved the distribution of funds for the CAPP and Choices programs for 2016 fiscal year, putting the future for some local nonprofit agencies in question.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments