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Family Celebrates Life Of Murdered UF Student On His Birthday

DORAL (CBSMiami) – Family and friends of murdered teen Christian Aguilar are gathering Friday at the cemetery where he's buried in Doral to remember their loved one on what would have been his 19th birthday.

"You know when you love a son, the pain is always with you," said Christian Aguilar's father, Carlos.

Christian Aguilar is the Doral Academy graduate and University of Florida freshman who was missing Sept 20th in Gainesville.

for three weeks and whose body was later found in the woods. The Miami native's body wasn't found until three weeks later by hunters in a rural Levy County location.

"We're not celebrating with him. We're celebrating his life but we're not celebrating with him," said Carlos Aguilar at the cemetery on Friday.

The celebration of his life comes just one day after a grand jury indictment revealed Aguilar was poisoned and suffocated before his body was dumped in the woods.

The indictment released Thursday said Aguilar was sedated with a chemical compound and then suffocated. The document did not specify the type of chemical used.

The finding is a far cry from what Carlos Aguilar had first believed. He thought his son had been beaten and left for dead, possibly fighting to survive as his family and volunteers searched through the woods of Alachua County for days.

"This is his way to say, 'This is my present. I did not suffer that much'," Aguilar said. He went on to say he was relieved to learn his son did not die violently.

"It was comforting knowing that he died without suffering that much," said Aguilar.

Aguilar's former friend, 18-year-old Pedro Bravo is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping. Now, he's also facing charges of poisoning and tampering with evidence.

"We don't understand. The only person who can answer why he did this is Pedro Bravo. He has the answers to those questions," said Aguilar.

Aguilar said with therapy and faith, he's come to terms with the fact justice may take years.

"For the first time I can say, in my heart, I'm prepared. I'm ready and my family will be ready," he said.

The Aguilar memorial at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Doral is open to the public.

Pedro Bravo's next court appearance is set for November 28th.

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