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Funeral Services Held For Christian Aguilar

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Family and friends of Christian Aguilar, the University of Florida student whose remains were found earlier this month in Levy County, gathered in Miami Tuesday for his funeral.

The funeral mass was held at St. Dominic's Catholic Church, at 5909 NW 7th Street in Miami at 1:00 p.m. It was the final farewell for the murdered Miami teen.

Aguilar's father, Carlos, said in a statement the family has found some peace in finding the body and "being able to give him a proper burial."

Tuesday, there were no words that could comfort the Aguilars.

"I just hugged him and told him I'm here to support you," said Dennis Rodriguez.

"Faith and the love of a family and the closeness of a family, there's a lot of lessons this family has taught us," said Jackie Echagarrua.

Following the funeral Mass, Aguilar's body was laid to rest at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Doral.

Two of Aguilar's aunts in Colombia were granted nonimmigrant visas to travel to Florida for the funeral. The women had previously been denied humanitarian visas on the grounds that they failed to present strong enough ties to Colombia.

Aguilar's friend, 18-year old Pedro Bravo, has been charged with first-degree murder.

The public defender's office has said they plan to file a not guilty plea on Bravo's behalf.  Bravo's family has said they do not have the money to hire a private attorney for a potentially lengthy trial.

Aguilar was last seen in a Gainesville Best Buy with Bravo on September 20th. Aguilar's remains were found about 20 miles outside Cedar Key in a heavily wooded area.

Police say Bravo originally told them that he beat Aguilar unconscious and left him in a parking lot.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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