Family, friends and dozens of others touched by the death of University of Florida student Christian Aguilar filled St. Dominic Catholic Church in Miami Tuesday to bid a final farewell to a young man whose death devastated a family and brought together a community.
Mourners milled about in the sun while waiting to be let into the church. Inside, Aguilar’s family shared a private moment in the dark sanctuary.
When the crowd trickled in, a photo montage of Aguilar played, showing a smiling Aguilar as a baby, being baptized, playing soccer, and in his blue-and-yellow high school graduation cap and gown. Another photo shows Aguilar "Tebowing. The teen was attending UF, Tim Tebow’s alma mater, when he was killed. Frank Sinatra’s My Way played.
Dozens lined up to hug the teen’s father, Carlos Aguilar, who spent weeks searching the woods of Gainesville for his son.
The 18-year-old graduate of Doral Academy Preparatory School, who was studying at UF to become a biomedical engineer, was last seen Sept. 20, when he went to a Gainesville Best Buy with Pedro Bravo, an 18-year-old friend from Doral Academy enrolled at Santa Fe College.
Arrested four days later, Bravo told police he beat Aguilar and left him bleeding in a parking lot
Aguilar’s remains were found Oct. 12 in rural Levy County. Bravo has been charged with first-degree murder.
Aguilar will be buried at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Doral.