Volunteer searchers from a missing University of Florida student's Miami high school are still pouring into Gainesville even as new information from police seemingly backs up the possibility of foul play.
No trace has been found of 18-year-old Doral Academy graduate Christian Aguilar since last Thursday, when he was last seen in public leaving a Best Buy store around 3 p.m. with high school friend Pedro A. Bravo.
Bravo, also 18, told police he left Aguilar in a parking lot several miles from his apartment after a fight over a girl both dated. He reportedly told investigators three different but increasingly violent versions of the event, the Gainesville Sun reports, finally admitting he left a beaten Aguilar unconscious in the parking lot.
But authorities said Wednesday that Bravo purchased a shovel and a roll of duct tape several days before the fight, which Aguilar's father fears may indicate premeditation. He told NBC6 he suspects Bravo may have been jealous of Aguilar, who was attending UF while Bravo enrolled at Santa Fe College.
"He knew that my son was living a dream he wanted for himself, and he was not able to achieve," Carlos Aguilar said.
The teens both recently moved to Gainesville after graduating Doral Academy in the spring. A group of current and former Doral students left Wednesday to assist in the search for Aguilar, which according to the Sun has shifted to a wooded area an area north of Gainesville Regional Airport based on information from cell phones and "other technology."
Previously searched areas are getting a second look now that authorities know Bravo owned a shovel.
"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," said Gainesville PD spokesman Ben Tobias.
Volunteers from Miami-Dade County also included a K-9 unit from the Sweetwater Police Department and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maroño.
"We are looking for answers, we are looking for closure and we're not giving up," said Stephanie Rincon, who organized the trip.
Bravo was arrested Monday, charged with depriving a crime victim of medical treatment, a third-degree felony. His attorney said his client is also worried about Aguilar.
"These are two best friends, best friends get into fights just like brothers and sisters get into fights," said Larry Turner after Bravo's Tuesday bond hearing. "We're hoping that Christian is alive and well and that he will be found in good health."
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Pedro Bravo's Chevy Blazer
Pedro A. Bravo
In this undated photo provided by the Gainesville Police Department, a shovel is shown similar to one police say the person of interest bought days before a fellow University of Florida student, Christian Aguilar went missing. Aguilar, 18, was last seen Thursday at a Best Buy store in Gainesville, police said. He was with Pedro Bravo, 18, who faces a third-degree felony charge of depriving a victim of medical treatment. Bravo was arrested Monday and was being held on $100,000 bond. (AP Photo/Gainesville Police Department)