Teenager charged with ‘love triangle’ murder of missing student whose backpack was found in his closet
A teenager has been charged with first-degree murder in the case of a missing University of Florida student. Pedro Bravo was charged with murder because he previously said he beat 18-year-old Christian Aguilar until he was bloody, swollen and barely breathing. Bravo stared straight-faced into the jail camera during the proceedings. He was denied bond. A family friend also read a statement from Aguilar’s father during the hearing. Police say Aguilar was last seen on September 20 at a Gainesville Best Buy store with Bravo. Police believe they may have been fighting over a girl. Aguilar’s backpack was found stashed inside a closet at Bravo’s home and his car tested positive for blood. Meanwhile Governor Rick Scott joined the massive search for the victim which also involved helicopters and K-9s. Scott helped search for the missing University of Florida student a day after authorities charged the victim’s friend with murder. The massive search for Aguilar on Saturday, combed through wooded fields and parking lots. Authorities indicated Aguilar may have been buried near a lime rock roadway. Meanwhile, volunteers at Sweetwater City Hall are collecting water, machetes and rubber boots to help with the search. Police encouraged Florida citizens who have lime roads near their property to search them and look to see if the ground looks to be disturbed. Bravo purchased duct tape and shovel ‘several days’ before Aguilar went missing, Gainesville police said during an earlier briefing, adding that investigators have not yet recovered the items. Police also said Bravo gave conflicting stories about a fight the two had and was no longer speaking to investigators. ‘It is his right, but we believe he is the only person who knows the whereabouts of Christian,’ said Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias. ‘It’s frustrating because he knows where he is.’ Police planned to continue their search for the missing student ‘until we run out of fresh information’. ‘With every day that goes forward, the odds and likelihood are less and less,’ Tobias said of finding Aguilar.