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Well, here it goes: My name is Erik, and I’m Pedro Bravo’s roommate.
Pedro was a randomly assigned roommate, and he seemed like a pretty nice kid. He was quiet, thoughtful and courteous.
Three or four days a week he just wasn’t here, but when he was, he kept to himself. He was like a ghost. He stayed in his bedroom and always shut his door. When he came out it was to refill his cup, eat a quick snack or make himself something to eat. He rarely washed his dishes.
He enjoyed watching “Futurama,” “Family Guy” and really anything on Comedy Central. He was very artistic and enjoyed keeping a journal. Pedro never said much about it, but I was curious, so I would look.
I saw pictures of hearts; red and pink hearts, shattered hearts, hearts in tiny pieces, broken hearts. Next to his illustrations there was usually a caption — perhaps even a poem.
Several reporters have asked me if his behavior before the incident was odd, suspicious or unusual. It wasn’t. It was Pedro. I lived with him, but I hardly knew him.
The first time the investigators came by was Friday night between 11 p.m. and midnight. I had just finished cooking dinner and was cleaning up, when I heard a knock at the door.
I told a friend to answer it.
When asked by the officers if Pedro was home (which he was not), he called me downstairs.
After 30 to 40 minutes of interviewing, I had so many unanswered questions.
Was my roommate OK? Was he safe? Was he missing?
Or was he a suspect in a potential homicide? Was he dangerous? Should I feel threatened — should I leave?
I’m still here.
I’ve been asked “off the record” if I think he did it. Sadly, I know as much as you do. I don’t know either. But nevertheless, here’s what I do know:
I saw Pedro for the last time Thursday afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
I was sitting at my living room table eating lunch when he came out of his bedroom. He was wearing the same exact outfit as the one depicted in that surveillance photo taken at Best Buy: dark, navy-blue jeans and a black shirt.
He said goodbye and left.
I stayed at the apartment until 5 p.m., when I left for an event at UF.
Pedro hadn’t returned.
After the event was over, I came back to my apartment, and by then it was between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. According to my other roommate, Pedro came back between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
He didn’t stay long.
He walked quickly up the stairs and disappeared into his bedroom — no hello, nothing.
In less than five minutes, he left, walking back down the stairs with his backpack.
My roommate vaguely remembers what he was wearing, or if he appeared to be dirty, muddy or sweaty. I keep the apartment very clean, vacuuming almost every day; I didn’t see anything suspicious.
Because of my tough schedule, I didn’t go to sleep until early Friday morning — 4 a.m.
Still no Pedro.
That Thursday, Pedro put a question on the little white board attached to our fridge asking how much the tickets were for Saturday’s football game. I answered the question.
By the time I woke up Friday morning, after only five hours of sleep, there was a new question, a question — again — asked by Pedro: How many tickets can students buy? –Pedro.
In other words, Pedro came home between the hours of 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. and left.
Christian Aguilar was last seen at 6 p.m. on Thursday near Streit’s Motorsports on Northwest 13th Street. His cellphone was shut off at about 8 p.m., according to reports.
Since then, police officers, detectives, forensics units and reporters have been in and out of our apartment.
A receipt for a shovel, dated Sept. 16, was found in Pedro’s bedroom. They’ve been back and forth, searching for anything, clues, evidence that could lead them to the whereabouts of Christian.
On Saturday evening, after returning from the football game, I found something suspicious in our washing machine.
It was one outfit, the same outfit that he was wearing that last time I saw him. It was washed, but it was still damp.
I’ve been asked a lot about his bedroom — what it looked like, what was in it.
It was usually messy, but the last and most startling thing I saw was a quote on his white board, which read: “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.” — Oscar Wilde
Erik Skipper, an economics sophomore at UF, wrote this for The Independent Florida Alligator. The article was published on Friday.