WAYLAND (CBS) – A former Wayland High School football player was ordered held without bail Tuesday, charged with the murder of his former girlfriend, 18-year-old Lauren Astley, over the weekend.

18-year-old Nathaniel Fujita of Wayland was taken into custody early Tuesday morning.  He was arraigned in the afternoon at Framingham District Court.

Both Astley and Fujita graduated last month. Prosecutors say they had been boyfriend and girlfriend for three years, but the relationship had ended recently.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

A bicyclist found Astley’s body in a marshy area off Route 27 near the Sudbury town line Monday morning.

“I wish I knew more, abolsutely.  You always think there’s something else you could have done, something you might have missed,” said Malcon Astley, Lauren’s dad.

Police had found her Jeep at the Wayland town beach parking lot Sunday night about an hour after she finished work at her job at the Natick Collection.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.


According to prosecutors, Astley and Fujita exchanged phone calls while at she was at work and she told co-workers she was going to meet him when her shift was done.

Fujita later told police on three occasions that he had spoken with Astley briefly at his home. He said she had parked her car up the road and left after short, “awkward” conversation.

Astley was found with a gaping, horrific wound to her throat, according to prosecutors, and a bungee cord wrapped around her neck. Middelex County DA Gerry Leone added Tuesday that Astley was killed by strangulation from “a ligature and a wound to her neck using a sharp object.”

Prosecutors did not say where she was killed.


At Fujita’s home, police say they found blood on the floor of the garage and a bungee cord nearby.

There was also blood found on a door handle, the kitchen floor, the kitchen sink and a bathroom sink.

Investigators say they later found Fujita’s bloody clothes and sneakers in a crawl space by his bedroom and that the clothes also had dirt consistent with being in a marsh.

His mother took him to his aunt’s house in Framingham, where he was arrested at 2 a.m.

Police had issued an all-points bulletin for Fujita Monday night.  Authorities went to his home and seized an SUV.

Astley’s father Malcolm told WBZ-TV Monday he did not know of any problems between his daughter and Fujita.

“If I had thought there was anything amiss like that I would have been hot on it.  I’m alert to those issues,” said Malcom Astley. “I cry every five to eight minutes, then there’s stability again.”

Fujita joined a Facebook page aimed at finding Astley just hours after she was reported missing.


Wayland schools superintendent Paul Stein, in just his second day on the job, told reporters Tuesday the murder was a “horrific and chilling turn” for the community.

“This shouldn’t happen anywhere or to anyone,” he said.  “This event may rock our feeling of security and safety.”

WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud reports.

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

Fujita has no prior record. He was accepted and planned to attend Trinity College, where he was recruited to play football.

His father Tomo is an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music.  Astley once interviewed him and posted the video on YouTube.

“Lauren’s mother and I share the anguish of Nate’s parents who put so much caring and love into Nate and my daughter as well. We want them to know that,” Malcolm Astley said Tuesday.

Grief counselors were being made available to students Tuesday at the Happy Hollow Elementary School.

This is the first murder in Wayland in 25 years.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.

Comments (67)
  1. Willow says:

    The more you read of such a tragedy as this, the more I want to sit down and just cry for all the senseless deaths of so many young people. My deepest sympathy to this young woman’s parents and other family members, as well as her dear friends. What a beautiful girl.

  2. jaygee says:

    A beautiful young girl is dead, a young man from a good family has brought ruin to two families and for what? We all know that these terrible acts go on all over the country but when you see it happen in a town like Wayland, it’s difficult to fully comprehend. Fireworks, flag-waving and yet this on the 4th of July.

  3. herb says:

    If convicted, another reason to bring back the Death sentence. Enough hand wringing and tears. There’s nothing wrong with rightful revenge..and he won’t get out to do it again in15 years. Remember, this is MASS.

    1. tsal says:

      And who decides when “rightful revenge” is all right? Who decides when taking a life is acceptable – any life?

      1. Dan says:

        how is that even a question? do you think she had any say in whether she wanted to be stabbed in the throat? think before you speak. If you murder someone then you should have your life taken away too.

      2. tsal says:

        How can I say that? What kind of a question is that? And who are you to tell me how to think? I do not believe any man can deliberately take the life of another because, Dan, killing a person is murder no matter how much you try to justify it. You think what you want but don’t tell me I cannot think what I want.

      3. fred says:

        Ummm…Tsal, don’t lie and say “people don’t have the right to kill”, because , as you know, every murderer had and has used that “right” to kill. Do you only want “murderers” to have the right to decide who lives and dies? And not the law-abiding people who want to live in a world without evil killers.
        You are the type of guy who probably wants no one to own guns, and like-wise, if that’s the case, only outlaws will have guns.
        Who decides when taking a life is acceptable? I’ll tell you: the law-abiding people of the jury will decide, if we had a death penalty in this state, but we don’t…

      4. Joe says:

        Not who but what decides rightful revenge. When the evidence is so overwhelming and powerfully incriminating. When there is a clear and direct motive. Then when there is forensic evidence and dna evidence to convincingly tie everything together in a way that eliminates not just any reasonable doubt but absolutely positively any shread of doubt whatsoever.

        Once you have all of these things proving certain guilt they alone will decide when rightful revenge is appropriate. In my mind, after a week, it seems they are well on their way to providing all of those requirements for rightful revenge to occur.

        Unfortunately, I just wasted 5 minutes of my life typing this because we live in state where that will NEVER HAPPEN. If it didn’t happen after the worst Mulder case in my 38 years, the Jeffrey Curley murder, then sadly it never will!

  4. kindred spirit says:

    When will we do something about these senseless violent abuses of our promising young men and women? It seems like there is an open season that a certain sort of person just is out there preying with no conscience, no mercy. There has to be something very wrong with our country that so many have no empathy for anyone. My heart goes out to the family and friends, nothing will bring back their loss, but I hope that they have solace in knowing there will be one less heartless killer out there.

  5. Tru dat says:

    This Nate has what I’d say is questionable friends. One is Daelin Holmes Toro Gang . That’s what it says on his FB page. And the girl has some of these questionable types with her as a ‘friend’. Be careful who you choose as a friend.

    1. Micronaut says:

      Well thank you for your input. I’m glad to see Americans are still classifying black STUDENTS as ‘dangerous’. I was unaware that you could gather such information from a simple facebook picture and name. In the future, please avoid such profiling or fall into the depths of racism…please focus your efforts on prayers for both families before pointing fingers at minorities.

    2. A.Wright says:

      What do you know about Daelin? I know Daelin & I know his mom & family. Just as Nate, Daelin comes from a good family AND IS NOT AT ALL A KILLA

    3. tina holmes says:

      how dare you slander my childs name ?
      do you know the seriousness of that lie !!Daelin did not know neither him or her ! Everyone who knows daelin can tell you how respectful and kind he is !

      What would make you maliciiously state daelins first and last name on a public message board ? do you have a personal problem with daelin ? Don’t be a coward and hide behind a screen , I can give you mine and his dad # since your bold enough to state these lies about him you can tell me or his father what your problem is !

      instead of mourning the death of your friend or your childs classmate you chose to seek out an individual and sneak onto facebook pages and assume people are in gangs !!

      Your the one that seems questionable hiding behind a computer and spewing lies about someone you don’t even know !!

      Your telling people to be careful who they choose as friends ? take your own advice and be careful about what you say on a message board that could potentially harm that individual in one way or the other .

      if you continue I will exhaust every outlet I can and find out who you are and prosecute you to the fullest for slandering a minor ! this can pertain under the new bullying laws !!

      try me if you dare !!!

    4. I MISS YOU LAUR says:

      hi. i was friends with both of them. i graduated with them and hung out with both of them often. and news flash, your facebook friends say NOTHING about who you are as a person. most kids have more than 1000 friends on facebook, but in reality they probably hangout with 30 of them total. You have NOOOOO idea about anything regarding this whole situation other than what you have heard on the news. you know nothing about me or any of their other friends so stop making judgements. who are you to say we are “questionable” friends?! do you think we saw this coming? do you think we allowed this to happen right before our eyes?? youre dumb and know nothing, and my advice towards you would be to shut up and stop making judgements about a situation you know nothing about and people you have never even met before.

  6. Willow says:

    A young woman is dead and a family is grieving. Is this type of comment really necessary?

  7. C.A. says:

    My deepest condolences go out to the Astley family. Her father was my former principle at Bowman Elementary School in Lexington. He was such a nice man and I can’t believe such a horrible thing could happen to his daughter who had a promising future. Violence and abuse has to end… it’s killing young Americans everywhere.

  8. Sad says:

    What is wrong with the kids these days. If you break up especially if you are heading off to college its good thing. You don’t go off and kill her cause she wants to start a new chapter in her life. I guess now we will never know.

  9. JustTheFacts says:

    You must be confusing this with the 2 people killed in Dorchester this weekend. How many Dorcester/Mattapan blacks have been murdered there in the 25 years since the last murder in white wayland? You are delusional if you think there isn’t a “black-on-black” crime problem.

  10. emom says:

    I do not understand why teens resort to this , Its so sad. What ever happen to just ending a relationship , moving on and being happy.. To many have to be controling. A relationship does not work its not the end of the world. I feel bad for this family, It was a senseless act, and what over not letting go. Control issues .. so sad indeed.,

  11. John says:

    Perhaps we should make an effort to understand those involved? Maybe the boy can be treated?

    1. steve says:

      yes, lead therapy

  12. Just Curious says:

    This article doesn’t really say as to whether or not the mother of the young man was hiding him at his aunts or if he had asked to go there and she was unaware of what he had done?

  13. Elisabete Swenson says:

    How sad. Two young lives destroyed. My heart goes out to both sets of parents. I pity the guy for choosing such horrific actions. He ended someone’s life and destroyed his future.

  14. John says:

    Teens resort to this because they have been brough up in a sick sociiety where they have never been diciplined or even told that they have done something wrong. We are creatiing future generations of people that have no conscience, civility or manners. They are coddled and given everything even though they are never expected to do anything in return.. In our society, children are given awards because they show-up and every parent is informed that their child is in the top five percent of their class. I’ve yet to hear of any child that is in the botton 95% of their class. If you are looking for someone to blame why not try the parents or the teachers who have created this lunacy that we have to deal with today. Or, better yet, why not just blame George W. Bush like you blame him for everything else

  15. John says:

    Maybe Deval Patrick, the Governor of the Commonwealth can comfort all of us with his kind words and gentle tone…?

  16. John says:

    From the “Limousine Liberal” point of view; of course, we will undoubtedly hear about how this is a “tragedy for both families”….

  17. tsal says:

    I’m not sure you have to look any further than the comments here to see why kids are messed up. My condolences to Lauren’s family first and foremost and also to Nate’s family.

  18. SH says:

    I keep saying bring the death penalty to MASS than maybe these kids, young adults, etc. wouldn’t be so quick to take a life. We can also send them over to iraq or whereever and put them on the front line since they’re so tough. But I do have one question the story states his mother took him to his aunt’s house in Framingham where he was arrested at 2am. Why didn’t she just call the police. Son or not….if it’s your fault you get turned in and pay the piper.

    1. John says:


      I totally agree with the comments you have made here.

  19. John says:

    Clearly, Nate is a victim of the hateful society that George W. Bush and the Republicans and Tea Partiers have created. He should be sent to some kind of rehab program and then be released back into socieity where he can make his parents proud of him by getting a job at Citibank. After all, we must remember that this is more our fault as a society than it is his. Yeah, right…

    I’m telling you, I pray that at some point, our once great nation will awaken from this insane “Liberal/Progressive” fog we are in and start to do the right things again and hold people resonsible for their own actions.

    1. Jennifer says:

      This is not political. Do yourself a favor turn off fox(news) and spend time with your family.

      1. tsal says:

        now that is funny – and sadly true – great advice

      2. John says:

        Thanks for your input Jennifer; I will take it under advisement.

        I love how you “Limousine Liberals” only want things that help define your interests to be discussed in a “political” or “societal” manner.

        I imagine that while I’m watching Fox News that you are watching MSNBC or CNN…

    2. laur says:

      This has nothing to do with Bush. Crimes like this have been around for centuries. Plenty of men can handle a break up, etc…, some can not. It is sad, but you hope when a relationship ends, it ends nicely.

      1. John says:

        Of cousre it has nothing to do with Bush but it does relate to the breakdown of our society.

        I could not believe the father’s response. He’s sorry that his daughter is gone but is happy that he has recordings of her voice to listen to and he feels terrible for Nate’s family. I would think that he’d want to be down at the jail trying to tear Nate limb from limb for killing his daughter rather than talking about how badly he feels for Nate’s family.

      2. John says:


        Thank you for recognizing that this has nothig to do with Bush. It does have to do with the lack of responsibility in our society though.

        Perhaps Nate’s parents shoud have given him more “Time-Out” sessions when he was growing-up?

    3. John says:


      Do you get your news from CNN and MSNBE like Jennifer does?

  20. Arthur Connell says:

    I feel at times with the amount of these type of crimes we read about in this country that it seems to be a culture thing. Kids seem not to raised with a certain amount of respect for other people, cultures, difference of views etc. It is part of the all about ” me ” thing that seems to go on to often. I feel that the amount of outside influence that they face now a days is vastly under rated, its more than we think as adults, that they are just entitled because they exist ! I feel at times that talking to a variety of parents over the years ( I never had children myself ) that parents do not put the old fashion ” fear of God ” into their kids. Because of a number of culture factors like two parents having to work etc., TO MANY OTHER PEOPLE ARE RAISING YOUR CHILDREN ! Oh, by the way JUST THE FACTS, your 100% right about your post, by the way I’m white.

  21. Kiner says:

    Just a terrible tragedy—what more can one say.

  22. RIPlaur says:

    absolutely disgusting. i’ve known lauren for over 9 years and she would always become giddy when talking about her boyfriend nate. she loved him more than anything, and then this happens. i’m completely appalled that anything so horrific could happen to such a beautiful, loving, and sweet girl. i’m blessed to have known her, she was one of a kind. i love you lauren. i’d sock nate in the face for you if he wasnt in prison.

  23. concernedamerican says:

    Yet we feel compelled to allow teens or young adults to take no responsibilities, Allowing teens to do what ever they wish. And society forbids us to discipline them properly, only with talking is allowed. Like that really works in most cases. Not blaming anyone But we know teens today have far to much leniency and get away with to much. Reform for someone that commits murder, They will never be fully reformed. There is always the fear they will commit the crime in the future…………. Condolences to the young ladies family, She never deserved this..

    1. John says:

      Right On!

  24. Student says:

    I went to school with her i was a freshman last year i didnt really know lauren but i know that she was beautiful, i heard that she had a great personality and was a great friend to have because she stuck by her friends side. Lauren you will be deeply remembered and your memories will live in all of us forever. She had the best view of the fireworks last night on the 4th. Rest In Peace Lauren.

  25. taylor says:

    What does this have to do with George Bush or anyone else related to politics? I don’t know the motive, but I’m guessing it has something to do with a breakup, jealousy, etc…this is not new, unfortunately! My mom is almost 70 and always remembers her dad telling her to be careful how she breaks up with a guy. Some guys go off of the deep end when a relationship ends. Obviously she went to see him willingly, but maybe she was trying to end it because they were going off to college. Either way, it is very sad and I feel for those who loved these 2 people and are now left behind to deal with this.

    1. John says:


      Wake up to reality! Maybe if we did not live in this crazy “Limousine Liberal” society children such as these two would have been raised a bit differently and this would not have happened. Who’s fault is it? The “Village” that Hillary Rodam Clinton wants to have raising children these days or the parents who raised the murderer?

  26. sally says:

    Why does everyone need to make this political or racial? This is a tragedy that could happen to anyone. Sometimes jealousy can get out of control. Not all young people understand that emotions are hard to deal with. Some people need to talk and others need to write how they feel. It’s is unfortunate that an adult couldn’t intervene. Sometimes the signs are not there.

    1. John says:

      Maybe the school psychologist could have helped…? After all, the Teacher’s Union thinks that we should all (children and adults alike) should run to the psychologist for every issue that we have.

      Don’t worry, in this sick Commonwealth of Massachusetts I’m sure that Nate won’t spend too many years in prison and when he gets out he can become a productive member of society. Like I said earlier, he will probably go to work for some Wall Street firm and become wealthy.

  27. Big Mike says:

    John-you are one sick bird to play politics, enumerate your version of society’s ills and roast these so-called ‘limousine liberals’ when the fact is a teenage girl lost her life to her immature, irrational and probably temporarily insane ex-boyfriend. This is a time of mourning, grieving and kindness for most human beings with a conscience. Instead, you blabber on about your issues. Pathetic.

    As the father of a 2 1/2 yr. old, who knows the patience, sacrifice, love, commitment and persistence it takes to raise a kid in this world, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Astley family.

  28. concernedamerican says:

    It’s funny, over the last few months we have read story after story of the things teens have done, And many say that its no big deal that teens are expressing themselves , or they are JUST having fun and to let them handle their problems on their own. That teens are old enough to deal with adult issues and should be treated as young adults so let them handle issues. It’s no big deal teens will be teens, So many parents do not want to INTERFER with their lives, and never issue any consequences for their actions. Teens allowed to try things that they shouldn’t, and parents Cry what’s the big deal… We hear these statements and more all the time. And most think nothing about it… Yet when a tragedy like this happens we CRY JUSTICE , WHY… when it was preventable & noticeable. These are the issues that we don’t stop , we stay out of and ignore. I wonder if it’s a cycle from their upbringing, or a case of detached parenting. We need to change these problems with our youth, watch for the tell tail signs correct those problems and give punishment when needed. This kind of problem should never be. Teen violence is on the rise and needs to be addressed …. Please be more aware and watch the signs. No child or teen should ever have to be in this situation… EVER

  29. petem says:

    John , SH and the others who want ot make this a forum for their political views are just showing how well the Faux News mission has succeded.
    There was a time when people respected the familes involved.

    My deep condolences to the Astleys and Fujitas.

  30. Mike says:

    the problem really is that teens should not be allowed to seriously date one another.. They are too emotional at that young and tender age to handle sex, breakups, potential pregnancies etc.. Parents should take away some of that freedom…

  31. Susan says:

    Let’s just say if this teen was anything other than white she would not be on the news every single day. If they cannot expose the stories of other ethnicities then I disagree with the exposure this teen’s story. If she were Indian, Latino, Black, Asian, etc she would not be on the news everyday so this teen should not be either! Indeed she did suffer a tragic death but she should not get privileges because her skin color is white, her life is not more special than any other race… It’s called equality!

  32. Joe says:


    It’s not who but what and why that decides rightful revenge. When the evidence is so overwhelming and powerfully incriminating. When there is a clear and direct motive. Then when there is forensic evidence and dna evidence to convincingly tie everything together in a way that eliminates not just any reasonable doubt but absolutely positively not a shread of doubt whatsoever.

    Once you have all of these things proving certain guilt they alone will decide when rightful revenge is appropriate. In my mind, after a week, it seems they are well on their way to providing all of those requirements for rightful revenge to occur.

    Unfortunately, I just wasted 5 minutes of my life typing this because we live in state where that will NEVER HAPPEN. If it didn’t happen after the worst Mulder case in my 38 years, the Jeffrey Curley murder, then sadly it never will!

  33. donny says:

    Wow! Another football player acting out violently off the field – in society.


    Another young man groomed to have whatever he wants in life doesn’t get what he wants and cannot deal with the pain of rejection so he kills the person he claims to love.

    Again, I’M SHOCKED!

  34. Nina says:

    My heart goes out to both families. This is such a horror story…. It’s never really hit me that something like this could happen, until it strikes so close to home. Two lives lost, and for what? Both were headed in such good directions… Its just horrible. I can’t imagine how scary that must be for Nate’s parents, and for everyone who knew him to find out what he was capable of.

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