The family of a Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter who has been missing in Baja California, Mexico since Aug. 20, awaits a word on where he is located Thursday, the day after Mayor Eric Garcetti said he may have been a victim of one "violent abduction."
Aguilar, a 20-year LAFD veteran, disappeared from his apartment building near Rosarito on August 20 and has not communicated with family members since.
Aguilar sent his family a photo from the beach when he arrived in Rosarito, but that was the last time they'd heard from him.
Aguilar's brother and cousin went into the apartment to check on him the next day.
"They found things in his apartment, doors were open, picture frames were moved, it was kind of a scene where people were looking for something and they discovered that two vehicles were missing, a laptop and a few other items," said Aguilar's daughter Bella said. The family filed a missing person report with the Mexican authorities.
Garcetti made the announcement about Aguilar at the start of his COVID-19 update on Wednesday, saying the information about Francisco "Frank" Aguilar from LAFD was given to him just before the update.
"I want to make it very clear to anyone who would kidnap a member of our fire department that they are not just a member of our city, government, family, but also our community here in Los Angeles," Garcetti said.
Garcetti replied to reporters' questions that he had no further information on the matter and would speak more about the incident with federal agencies and LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas.
"We will work tirelessly to make sure Frank comes back safely," said Garcetti. "This is someone who risked their life for us and we will do everything in our power … to make sure that law enforcement in Mexico has the support they need."
The FBI has offered assistance to Mexican law enforcement agencies, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the City News Service last week.
"If this message goes to someone who would dare to kidnap an Angeleno who serves the people of Los Angeles, let him go and make sure he can safely return to our city and his family," said Garcetti.
Aguilar owns a condominium in San Antonio Del Mar, which is between Tijuana and Rosarito, his brother Gabriel told the Daily News.
"It's just shocking because we associate Rosarito with family, a safe vacation spot, and just hearing these words from Mayor Garcetti was just very surreal," said Bella.
"We haven't received any calls or ransom money yet. We all just sit there and talk on the phone as often as we can, but we don't get any information," said Bella.
LAFD spokesman Peter Sanders told reporters the department is working together in the search for Aguilar, who is assigned to Station 44 in Cypress Park.