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Co-Workers Say Wayland Teen Murder Victim Afraid, Concerned About Fujita

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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WOBURN (CBS) – Lauren Astley’s co-workers say she talked about being afraid the night she left work to meet with her ex-boyfriend, Nate Fujita. That was the last time they ever saw her.

A year-and-a-half later, Fujita is now on trial for her murder.

Nate Fujita at his trial in Middlesex Superior Court.

Nate Fujita at his trial in Middlesex Superior Court.

They were both 18 at the time, and had recently graduated from Wayland High school.

The day Astley died in July 2011, she had been working at her summer job at Store 344, a clothing boutique at the Natick Mall.

Three of her co-workers took the witness stand Thursday on the second day of testimony in the trial.

“She said she was going to talk with her ex, and see how he was doing because she was worried about him,” said Allessandra Chinetti, recalling the day Lauren was killed.

Her co-workers also said Nate Fujita’s mother, Beth Fujita, had visited Lauren at work a few weeks before the murder.

Lauren Astley

Lauren Astley

Assistant manager Stephanie Boudreau said Beth Fujita “appeared distraught… appeared to me crying.”

In opening arguments Wednesday, defense attorney William Sullivan said Nate’s mother had been concerned about his behavior in the weeks leading up to the murder.

He had withdrawn socially and had been diagnosed with depression.

Read: Keller: Insanity Defense Likely Won’t Work

Jurors are expected to take a field trip to the crime scenes Friday, including the marsh where her Astley’s body was discovered.

You can follow Christina on Twitter @HagerWBZ.

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