Christian Aguilar, 18 was drugged and smothered to death by his friend Pedro Bravo, 18
Thursday, a day before Christian Aguilar would have turned 19, family and friends learned the details about how the University of Florida freshman was murdered. Authorities allege that Pedro Bravo, 18, drugged and suffocated Aguilar, who was last seen alive with Bravo on September 20 via surveillance cameras at a Gainesville Best Buy.
The two friends, who both graduated from Doral Academy Preparatory, moved to Gainesville last summer when Aguilar began classes at University of Florida and Bravo enrolled at Santa Fe College.
Hunters found Aguilar's remains about 60 miles southwest of Gainesville in Levy County on October 12, almost three weeks after he was reported missing.
The two had apparently been arguing over Aguilar dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend from Doral, also a Santa Fe student. Bravo told police he punched Aguilar in the face, forced him out of his truck, and left him severely beaten by the side of a road.
However, authorities now believe Aguilar was not just left to die after a physical alteration but poisoned as well.
“Once we found the body, it gave us some new information, so we made some changes in the indictment. …We believe the evidence will show the administration of a chemical compound for the purpose of sedating [Aguilar] so he can do injury,’’ State Attorney Bill Cervone told the Gainesville Sun.
Bravo is now charged with witness tampering, poisoning by food or water, providing law enforcement with false reports, providing law enforcement with false information and the illegal transportation of a dead human body in addition to first-degree murder, kidnapping and depriving a crime victim of medical care.
New evidence in the death of former UF student Christian Aguilar shows his former friend, Pedro Bravo, may have drugged and suffocated him before killing him. An indictment released on Thursday says Pedro Bravo, the suspect in the killing, used a chemical compound to sedate Aguilar for the purpose of injuring him. An autopsy report revealed a chemical compound was found in his system, intentionally used to sedate him.
Aguilar's former classmates at Doral Academy learned about the details and reacted to them Friday morning. "I just keep hearing bad news about it and I just hope that he rests in peace," said student Jasmine Schaeffler. The news comes less than a month after hundreds gathered at Saint Dominics Catholic Church for the 18-year-old's funeral.
"The mood of the service was, was really peaceful. I came to support the family," said Dennis Rodriguez.
Family, friends, and classmates packed the church. "It was a time to really be able to comfort the family and really show them that, they have a family here that was waiting for them," said Daniel Rodriguez. Aguilar's grandfather flew in from Colombia to be with family. For those who knew the University of Florida student the past two months have been agonizing. On September 29th, Aguilar showed up on store surveillance video at a Gainesville Best Buy with his former Doral Academy Classmate Pedro Bravo.
Police said Bravo confessed after the trip to the store he beat Aguilar and left him to die in the woods. Rescue teams searched a large area around Gainesville and found nothing, but Aguilar's father still had hope he was alive. "We're not going to give up, even if the police stop supporting me.
I'm going to become a part of Gainesville. Until I've found my son," said Carlos Aguilar. Weeks after his son went missing, Aguilar's father recieved the news that 60 miles from Gainesville, hunters found his son's body, a cross now marks the spot where he died.
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