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Wayland Teen Held Without Bail In Classmate’s Death

BOSTON — A Wayland teenager is being held without bail for the murder of his former girlfriend.

Lauren Astley (Facebook)

Lauren Astley (Facebook)

On Tuesday in Framingham District Court, 18-year-old Nathaniel Fujita pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Lauren Astley.

“The prosecutor said when divers recovered Astley’s body from a pond in Wayland, there were what she called ‘gaping, significant wounds’ to her neck and a bungee cord was found around her neck,” said Nancy Cohen, reporting for WBUR.

Also during the arraignment, prosecutors said they found clothing covered with blood in Fujita’s home.

“The police found significant blood in the rear of the garage near some bungee cords,” Cohen said. “And also in a crawlspace of his bedroom, they found a pair of sneakers that are his size. They were covered in blood.”

Fujita and Astley both recently graduated from Wayland High School, where prosecutors said they had been involved in a multi-year relationship. That relationship apparently ended recently. Astley’s father, Malcolm Astley, has said Fujita and his daughter were “close.”

“Anytime there’s been an ongoing and lengthy relationship and that relationship ends, that, sometimes, that can precipitate friction and tension,” said Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone. “However, that has not been identified as the factor which led to this particular murder at this time.”

The Astley and Fujita families offered one another sympathy Tuesday.

Astley’s body was found Monday morning in Wayland by a bicyclist. Police had been searching that area since Sunday night. Her Jeep was found parked nearby after she left her job in Natick.

Astley planned to attend Elon University in North Carolina in the fall.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

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