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Christian Aguilar, a University of Florida student, has been missing since Thursday, and police fear he may be too hurt to get help after a possible beating, reports say.
In the meantime, a person of interest has emerged, the Gainesville Sun said. Police are holding Pedro A. Bravo, whom Aguilar's father, Carlos, said had previously been involved with the same girl his son was dating. Both the missing Aguilar, an 18-year-old freshman, and Bravo, 18, are from Miami.
Bravo reportedly told police he had a fight with Aguilar in a Gainsville, Fla., parking lot Thursday night and left him there, but the severity of the dispute was not clear from the reports. Aguilar's father told NBC in Miami his son was beaten by Bravo. Bravo was not under arrest, but was detained because he made comments about wanting to harm himself.
University and local police plus friends and family of Aguilar have mobilized in a search. Aguilar's dad told NBC that the search was focused on a wooded area nearby. “The more hours that pass, the less chance my son has,” he said to the station.
One friend, Ashlee Perez, has begun a fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo to aid in the effort. "He is an awesome person with a great heart!!" posted "Nathaly" on the site.
Aguilar, a biomedical engineering major, lives in the Springs Complex dorm. He was last seen in a blue-gray hoodie and jeans, Associated Press wrote.
Friends described Aguilar as gentle and goal-oriented in the NBC segment, and were shocked that foul play could be involved.