GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The human remains discovered in Levy County on Friday have been identified as Christian Aguilar, a University of Florida student who went missing Sept. 20.
The remains were identified via dental records, according to Gainesville police.
Police said they have notified the 18-year-old's family. They said further forensic tests will be performed on the remains to determine manner of death.
Aguilar's father spoke Saturday after the remains were found.
"Our prayers have been answered and heard, and we want to wait until the authorities confirm it," said Carlos Aguilar. "We want to, as a family, thank every single person that supported our family during these horrible times, during this pain, during this agony."
Aguilar traveled from Miami to Gainesville on Saturday to identify his son's body after investigators told him two hunters found human remains in Levy County.
Authorities told the Gainesville Sun that Aguilar's remains were found off a rural dirt road at about 2 p.m. Friday.
Authorities said they found blue Vans shoes, duct tape and blue jeans with the decomposed remains.
The clothes matched the description of what Aguilar was wearing on Sept. 20, the last day he was seen alive.
Police said that hunters discovered a body on the grounds of the Gulf Hammock Hunting Club, a private club with about 300 members. The men found the remains eight miles off State Road 24 on Parker Boulevard, about six miles west of Otter Creek.
The men called the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
The case, which attracted national media attention, went from a disappearance to a fight and abandonment to a murder investigation.
Pedro Bravo, 18, is in the Alachua County jail and recently was indicted on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges after police said he admitted beating Aguilar in a dispute over a girl and leaving him somewhere.
Aguilar was last seen with Bravo in a Best Buy store, police said. He was seen in a photo leaving the store wearing blue shoes and jeans.
Crews of volunteers and law enforcement from all over Florida have pitched in to search for Aguilar, but police recently stopped taking volunteers in the search because the mission had switched from a rescue to a recovery.
A memorial service for Aguilar was set for 7 p.m. Monday at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Gainesville.
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