WAYLAND (CBS) – What could cause 18-year-old Nathaniel Fujita, college-bound and without a prior criminal record, to allegedly murder 18-year-old Lauren Astley?
A domestic violence expert told WBZ-TV that sometimes, warning signs are subtle.
“They only care about that one other person, that they want to know where that person is all the time,” said Laura Van Zandt.
Van Zandt runs a domestic violence outreach program that talks to students. Last year, her group was at Wayland High School speaking to juniors, including Fujita and Astley.
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.
In court, prosecutors revealed the high school grads broke up recently.
On Sunday when Astley went missing, Fujita told police she came to see him and stayed only a few minutes without her car.
But, prosecutors say Fujita killed Astley, strangling her to death with bungee cords. It’s a common crime of passion in domestic violence cases, according to Van Zandt.
“Strangling is a very intimate way of killing somebody. You use your own hands and you hold onto them until they stop moving,” said Van Zandt.
Both teens were headed to college next year. Van Zandt says that can cause anxiety in young relationships and it’s a time when parents should talk to their teenagers.