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.

Comments (11)
  1. billbranch says:

    Today’s young people are a product of laissez-faire upbringing; parents blame everyone but themselves for their children’s failures, when they’ve only produced self-absorbed boors. The tone of this news story, too, is an example of what ails our society: trying to analyze the behavior which might lead to such a heinous crime, when the subject should be that we should excise this cancer from our midst, not by incarceration, but by a quick and speedy execution.
    Let’s start by doing that. Give that crawling turd a quick and speedy trial and execution of sentence.
    We as a society must undo the decades-long habit of coddling criminals and worrying about their rights. We must reinstitute the death penalty for murder, rape, let’s redefine capital offenses, and make it apply to all murders not just policemen in the line of duty, etc. This little girl did not stand a chance against a man with three times her strength.
    Perhaps the judge will grant a very low bail. This young lady was well-loved. Maybe he’ll find a different kind of justice.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the families. So horrific. So needless.
    When will the liberals learn that their ways don’t work?

  2. Sandy says:

    Liberal or not-we are having a grave problme with the youht of today. Im 22 and I cant believe people my age are so entitled, self absorbed and love to act stupid. Its celebrtiy, designer, alcohol/drug and ghetto culture to blame and yes the parents that go “when Aiden’s ready.” There is a tremendous hike in animal abuse cases, rehab cases and violence of all types now starting as young as 12 years old. Parents also allow and expect their teenagers to be out of control and boss them around, so it happens. I say homeschool and as a moderate independant, church. Im even beginning to think living on a commune would be better because even being middle class is over-rated and just as damaging. Im having ahard time finding a date because everybody even the guy at Dunkin’ Donuts want someone who is “unique and rare from a good family with a business degree looks like a model and can do it like a porn star.”

    1. chris says:

      first of there was nothing liberal about there upbringing and i woldnt blame it on the parents. i grew up in wayland and knew lauren personally since kindergarden, and lauren wasn’t any of those things you discribed

  3. screechy says:

    Please don’t put “liberals’ in a category or box – many of us are liberal about some things but not others. We as US citizens have more in common than we think, and need to stand together on many issues. I personally think the punishments for violent crimes are way too lax! Yet someone who does not know all my views on things would call me a liberal. Stereotypes are bad! Let’s avoid them!

  4. Zach says:

    “When will liberals learn that their ways don’t work”. Really?!? You cal our system liberal. Yeah, okay. The US has one of the most punitive criminal justice systems in the world. It sounds like you want something more along the lines of Saudi Arabia. Your conservative babble makes me want to vomit.

  5. Ashley says:

    OMG i am scared to live lately

  6. Stephen Rost says:

    What could cause 18-year-old Nathaniel Fujita, college-bound and without a prior criminal record, to allegedly murder 18-year-old Lauren Astley?

    Check with the Damned Third of Congress..I’m sure there is a military secret that can explain your question.

    Marter’ is not a Domestic Act.

  7. Ray Anderson says:

    So much for the outreach program.

  8. tri says:

    Sandy- really, politics have nothing to do with upbringing. We live in a dangerous world and should be cautious whom we allow in our lives in general. Sometimes the person you love and loves you the most will hurt you. Sometimes a total stranger will hurt you. Sometimes….

    Don’t blame parents, these “kids” were 18…everyone has a choice, not everyone can protect themselves, including me…no matter how much I think I could…WE can’t when we’re overpowered. Let’s pray for Lauren, her family and Nate’s family. How about that….stop bad mouthing families…change is in order and unless you agree then sit at your desk or on your couch and be quiet.

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