When University of Florida freshman Christian Aguilar went missing back on September 20, 2012, it honestly left not just his loved ones but also the entire community shaken to its very core. That’s because, as explored in ABC’s/Hulu’s ‘Death in the Dorms: Christian Aguilar,’ this 18-year-old Colombian-American was only starting to really establish himself as an individual and in life. Though the most heinous facet of the ordeal is the fact he’d actually already been slain by none other than lifelong friend Pedro Bravo over his blossoming new relationship with Erika Friman.
Who is Erika Friman?
It was reportedly back when Erika was a mere teen attending the Doral Academy Preparatory School that she first came across both Christian and Pedro, just for them to soon become friends. However, by the time the end of their sophomore year rolled around, she’d gotten romantically involved with the latter following some spark-igniting moments as well as fun, joyful conversations. Little did she know her then-boyfriend would soon turn into someone she couldn’t even recognize — he apparently went dark towards December of their senior year and never truly resurfaced.
According to police documents, Erika told them, “[Pedro] would ignore me at some points, and he would blow me off. It would be 10:50 at night or it would already be dark, and he’d leave me at the mall, and I’d be alone. It was simple things, but it kept adding up. I was getting depressed… I was like how, how – – what am I doing wrong that’s making him [do] all these things?” She eventually realized none of this was due to any fault of her own, driving her to break up with him for good near the end of their high school experience. As per records, she’d ostensibly tried to call things off once prior too, yet she was manipulated into staying with the help of indirect threats.
Erika had no idea she’d soon somehow end up growing closer to Christian as they both aspired to attend the University of Florida in the fall of 2012, only for Pedro to completely change his plans. Once this new duo became a thing, he let go of his place at a full-ride scholarship offering university in Miami to enroll at Santa Fe Community College to be closer to them — she was attending this school with hopes for a transfer while he’d landed a spot at UF. They had no idea their long-term friend was already aware of their new, thriving connection, so they kept it on the down low until she grew worried about her beau not coming to her place on the night of September 20, as promised.
Erika thus frantically dialed Pedro since she knew he had made plans to meet with Christian that fateful evening before they ultimately decided to file an official missing persons report with local authorities. This sparked an extensive search through out Gainesville plus nearby areas, just for the latter to be found buried in a shallow grave deep within the woods by two hunters almost three weeks later. That’s when Pedro’s statements, a legal search of his home, vehicle, as well as phone, and other pieces of evidence made it clear he’d essentially been obsessed with his ex-girlfriend for a long while and had meticulously planned to remove Christian from the picture to win her back.
Where is Erika Friman Now?
Considering everything Erika had to endure, including a brief media storm where this tragedy was faslely painted as a love triangle gone wrong, it’s no surprise she agreed to testify when Pedro stood trial for murder in 2014. She was hence more than relieved when he was sentenced to life in pison without parole upon his conviction, especially as she believes Christian was the love of her life and they probably would’ve gotten married if he were still alive.
Erika once said, “I think we were soul mates. 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.” Coming to her current standing, it appears as if this University of Florida Sustainability Studies graduate (2017) has been residing in the Wasington DC-Baltimore Area since 2023, where she proudly serves as a Sr. People & Culture Associate at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Read More: Where Are Christian Aguilar’s Parents Now?