WOBURN — When Lauren Astley stopped returning text messages on the night of July 3, 2011, her best friend Ariel Chates began to worry. A flurry of texts to their group of friends turned up nothing. So at around 8 p.m., Chates called Astley’s ex-boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, at his home.
“I said, ‘Hi, Nate, I know that this is a bit of a long shot, but I was wondering if you had heard or seen Lauren?’” Chates, 20, testified Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court. “And he said, ‘No, this is the last place she’d ever be.’ ”