Lauren Astley Wayland

July 5, 2011 by USA Post 

Lauren Astley WaylandLauren Astley Wayland, A Wayland man 18 years old, was arrested today and accused of murdering Lauren Astley, a recent graduate of Wayland High School, whose body was found Monday in a wooded area in the small western suburb.

The Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Wayland Police Chief Robert Irving, in a joint statement, identified the suspect as Nathaniel Fujita, 18, of Wayland. Authorities did not release the reason for the murder of Lauren Astley.

Fujita is expected to be charged today at Framingham District Court. A cause of death was not disclosed.

The body of Astley, 18, was found in a swamp. She had been missing since Sunday night. His father, Wayland School Committee member Malcolm Astley, spoke to the Globe by his daughter on Monday.

With graduation cards spread across the coffee table, Astley spoke of the impending departure of her daughter in the fall of Elon University in North Carolina, where he intended to study business administration. Lauren remembered as a teenager popular – a singer, an athlete, an aspiring fashion designer, and a passionate volunteer made three trips to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking at the Boston Post Road home, where Lauren grew, Astley, said her daughter went missing around 8 pm Sunday after working the closing shift at the mall Shop344 Natick Collection. She was believed to have gone to the beach town after work Wayland said. But Lauren never called home for the record, and his father began to get their friends to see if he knew where.

“The more time passed, the more concerned because it became,”he said.

Malcolm Astley refused to speculate on what might have happened to her daughter. When asked if she had a boyfriend, he said he had no current boyfriend, but had risen in the past. “There was nothing. Nothing that could predict,”he said.

The death stunned this small western suburb, had not had a homicide since 1985 murder of 9-year-old Sarah Pryor said Linda Segal, a former Selectwoman who has lived in Wayland for 35 years.

Susan Pope, vice president of the Wayland Board of Selectmen, said she has known for many years Malcolm Astley. When informed of the news, had to stop and sit.

“I’m speechless,”the pope said.” I do not know what to say. This does not occur in Wayland. Wayland does not have much anyway crime, thanks to the good God, but a murder?”

His father said that the last time she saw her daughter was a Sunday afternoon for lunch at a local restaurant before going to work.

Astley said his daughter, who had no brothers, was bright and musically talented. It was once the captain of the high school tennis, but quit the team last year to take a part-time work in the clothing store because she wanted a career in fashion.

Late yesterday afternoon, family and friends gathered at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church for a vigil Wayland private. Cars filled the parking lot and spread to many nearby. Just after 20:00 candles can be seen through the windows of the church in the dark. Then a procession of people passed through the door, hugging and crying.

Nour Sayeh, 13, left the vigil with her mother, said her sister Lauren had been a friend since elementary school. “She was always very sweet.”

“She was very vivacious, energetic,”said Mary Backman, 17, said she had known Laura since elementary school.

“People who are not from a small town do not understand,”Backman said.” We are all so strong here . . .. This kind of thing does not happen here.”

Lauren was passionate about “fixing the world,”his father said. He was also active in school is an a cappella group, who had recently released a CD.

“Many times when someone leaves, we lose the voice,”he said.” But luckily we have it.”

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