Aguilar's family traveled from Miami-Dade on Friday to join the search. They say they're holding onto hope that he is still alive and will be found safely.

Friends and family searched the wooded area Tuesday and Wednesday for Aguilar's cellphone, escorted by police into areas where they've received some cellphone data, along with other leads from people calling in tips.

Police have organized all of the volunteers involved in the searches, including hundreds of others who drove up from Miami to help search and offer support for Aguilar's family.

Police from Sweetwater, near Aguilar's hometown of Doral in South Florida, brought up their bloodhounds Wednesday to help look for him.

"It's been hard, but you know, when you're doing it for something like this, you don't feel the heat, you're not sweaty, you know nothing really matters, you just want to help," said Maria Torres, who drove to Gainesville from Miami.

More than $10,000 has been collected to help with search costs. To donate, go to and search Christian Aguilar. To volunteer for the searches, call the volunteer hotline at 352-393-7511.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Gainesville Police Department at 352-393-7670.