Teenager 'cut his ex-girlfriend's throat and strangled her with a bungee cord'
By Rachel Quigley
Last updated at 11:18 PM on 5th July 2011
An 18-year-old student cut his ex-girlfriend's throat, strangled her with a bungee chord and dumped her body in a marsh, according to authorities.
Nathaniel Fujita, 18, from Wayland, Massachusetts, has been charged with the murder of Lauren Astley who he recently broke up with after a three-year relationship.
In what prosecutors believe was an act of teenage domestic violence, Fujita - who is the son of a Berklee College of Music professor - was arrested after a search of his family's home found blood in the garage and his clothing - which was stained with blood - stashed in the attic.
.Teen violence: Lauren dated Fujita for around three years but it was thought that they remained good friends since they broke up a few weeks ago
He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said: 'We do believe this to be a case of teen dating violence. Lauren broke off the relationship…It’s a classic fatal paradigm that we see around teen dating relationships.'
According to Boston.com, Fujita remained on friendly terms with Lauren in the weeks after the relationship ended and they say it is not clear what would have prompted him to attack her.
A court heard today that Lauren had a 'gaping incision to her neck and her body was bound with at least one bungee cord, which was around her neck'.
Middlesex Assistant District McGovern said that through interviews, phone records and an examination of the Fujita family home, investigators pieced together a strong case linking the 18-year-old to the slaying.
Fujita admitted that his ex-girlfriend came to his home but insisted she was alive when she left.
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Ms McGovern said: 'There was a strong case of premeditated murder … and attempts to cover up with what he had done.
According to Boston.com, Ms McGovern said that police searched the Fujita family home in the hours after Lauren was reported missing on Sunday night.
They allegedly found blood in the garage and a blood-stained bungee cord. Blood was also found in the kitchen and the bathroom.
'I miss Lauren terribly. But when we fall in love we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and we lose perspective'
She said investigators recovered a pair of sneakers stained with blood along with a plastic bag filled with wet, muddy and bloody clothing.
Her parents reported her missing after she failed to return home from work in a retail shop.
Phone records show that Fujita and Lauren had a number of conversations throughout her shift at work and she told co-workers that she was going to meet him after she left the mall.
According to Boston.com, Fujita's father immigrated from Japan and has taught at Berklee college since 1993.
Fujita and his teammates on the Wayland High School track team were named All-Stars by the Boston Globe in March 2010.
Lauren's father Malcolm said his daughter was due to go to Elon University to study business in the fall.
He described her as a popular teenager - a singer, an athlete, an aspiring fashion designer, and a passionate volunteer who made three trips to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
He said she was passionate about 'fixing the world' and said the last time he saw her was on Sunday afternoon, for lunch at a local restaurant before she went to work.
He refused to speculate about who was involved in his daughter's murder but said that she and Fujita were close.
Sobbing, he said: 'When we fall in love, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and we lose perspective.
'I share a sense of angst with (Fujita's) parents. I miss Lauren terribly.'
An autopsy was scheduled for today but authorities said the obvious cause of death seems to be the wound to her neck