Christian Aguilar, 18, went missing on September 20, 2012, in Gainesville, Florida, launching a large search effort in the area. The University of Florida sophomore had been dating Erika Friman, the ex-girlfriend of his friend Pedro Bravo, and the case became known as the “Gainesville Love Triangle” after Aguilar’s body was found 22 days later.
Bravo was arrested and charged with his murder soon after the discovery of Aguilar’s skeletal remains. Authorities argued that the young man, who was fixated on his ex-girlfriend Friman and unable to move on after their breakup, plotted his friend’s murder after finding out that Friman had started dating him.
Friman has spoken about the case since then and testified for the prosecution during Bravo’s murder trial, where he was found guilty of first-degree murder. According to the Miami Herald, at Bravo’s sentencing, Friman said, “I am relieved. I am exhausted. It’s been a long two years but I feel like the weight has finally been lifted off of us.”
Where is Erika Friman today?
She Graduated From the University of Florida & Has Said That She Believes Aguilar Was Her Soulmate
After graduating from Santa Fe College, Friman attended the University of Florida, where she graduated in 2017 with a bachelor in sustainability studies, her LinkedIn profile shows. She now works as a donor and engagement administrator at the Heart of Florida United Way, a position she’s held since March 2020.
In an interview with ABC News, she said she thinks if Aguilar were still alive today, the two would be married. “I think we were soul mates,” she told the outlet. “You don’t expect to lose your love that young, and not in such a traumatic way… [but] at the end of the day, when I think of all these unknowns, I think of how much Christian loved me, and that’s kind of what gets my through it.”
Friman Spoke About the Case & Described the Situation That Eventually Led to Aguilar’s Murder
Friman, Bravo and Aguilar had been friends since high school, having attended Doral Academy Preparatory School together. Friman and Bravo began dating as sophomores in high school, she told ABC News but said by the time she was a senior their relationship was no longer working for her. Friman told the outlet when she informed Bravo she wanted to step away from the relationship he became very depressed and was in denial.
“I felt like he almost manipulated me at that point in my life, where he was kind of like, ‘if we do these things, we’ll never be the same,’” she told ABC News. “I was really concerned that, I don’t know, something bad would happen if we took a break.” Because of her concerns, the two stayed together throughout the summer of 2012 until she left for Gainesville to attend college.
She began dating Aguilar sometime after, telling ABC News he made her “really happy.” Bravo still couldn’t accept their breakup, though, and Friman said she found out he followed her to Gainesville and also registered to Santa Fe Community College, where she was studying. She decided not to tell him she was dating his friend as she worried it would “throw him over the edge.”
Friman said she became worried about Aguilar’s whereabouts on September 20, 2012, when he didn’t answer his phone hours after meeting Bravo. She told ABC News she was calling both young men throughout the night and Bravo finally picked up, telling her the two got into a verbal argument as he was dropping him off. She said she got Bravo to go to the police with her to file a missing person report but soon began to suspect Bravo wasn’t telling her the whole story.
“It was like nudging in the back of my head, Pedro must have been involved,” Friman told the outlet. “It was sickening, almost, just because we knew him for so long, and Christian was his friend.”