21 Aug 2014
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Wayland Murder Trial Live Blog: Trooper Describes 'Reddish-Brown' Stain Found On Fujita Garage Floor

Wayland man Nathaniel Fujita is facing first-degree murder charges arising from the death of Lauren Astley, also of Wayland, in 2011.

Wayland Murder Trial Live Blog: Trooper Describes 'Reddish-Brown' Stain Found On Fujita Garage Floor

Editor's Note: Wayland Patch will post regular updates from the courtroom at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. The most recent updates will be at the top of the story with a time stamp. For more about this case and trial, see " Wayland Murder: Nathaniel Fujita Trial."

3:46 p.m. -- David Twomey is trooper with the Massachusetts State Police. He is currently with the marine unit, but prior to that he was with the crime scene services section.

As a member of crime scene services, Twomey said he would do fingerprints, footprint analysis, tire mark analysis and more. He said he would also assist in documenting bodily fluids at a scene, though a chemist would conduct the actual collection of the supply.

Twomey said he was on call on July 4, 2011, and received a call at about 8 a.m. to respond to a potential death investigation in the town of Wayland at 25 Water Row. He initially responded by himself, but called other investigators in later.

He described seeing the body in the marshy area off Water Row when he arrived.

Twomey said he notified his direct supervisor that he may need assistance.

Twomey said he went on to take photographs "in the hundreds" of Water Row that day. He also documented the scene with some video.

A couple of photographs submitted as evidence earlier in the trial were shown again, and Twomey testified that he captured those images.

Twomey also said he was transported out to the area of the body via an inflatable boat, pushed by members of the state police underwater recovery team, in order to take photos of the body as well as the view back to Water Row from the body.

Back on shore, Twomey said he saw the underwater recovery team bring the body back to shore. He said he saw the recovery group bring the body to the shore, where he said she was put on the ground.

"I saw her to be deceased," Twomey said. "I believe she had one shoe on and a dress that was pulled up above her stomach area. I believe it was pulled up all the way to the area where the head, neck and shoulders were."

Twomey said he also saw that a bungee cord had been recovered along with the body.

The witness testified that the dress was moved and he proceeded to photograph the body. He said he saw a "gaping wound" in her neck.

Twomey said that in the course of his continued investigation and marking evidence, a rag with a "reddish-brown" mark on it believed to be a bodily substance, was recovered.

"There was a Bud Light can found," Twomey said, continuing to explain that a shoe on the land in addition to a sandel in the marsh were found.

Twomey said that there were also tire marks found on the road, south of the clearing, which he documented with a numbered evidence marker.

In addition, Twomey said, another Bud Light can and a lighter were also documented for future analysis, though it was unknown at the time if they would have evidentiary value.

McGovern is drawing a connection between the evidence that Twomey numbered and the scene reconstruction that an earlier witness, Brian Roderick, created. Twomey testified that he showed the items to Roderick at the scene.

At Water Row, Twomey said he was given two Poland Springs bottle, a compact disc and rings, that had been retrieved from Astley's Jeep that had been found at Wayland Town Beach.

"I took those items because we want to get everything back to the lab as soon as possible," Twomey explained. "I would later conduct fingerprint analysis on these items and potentially send them of to the crime lab for biological analysis."

Twomey said he went to the lab some time after 3 p.m. on July 4. He said he entered the items into a Lab Inventory System and put them in safe storage.

He said that at about 7:20 p.m., he was dispatched to the Fujita home in Wayland to document the execution of a search warrant.

"Observe, collect, document evidence," Twomey said is his role during the execution of a search warrant.

He testified that he would document the location itself before evidence was potentially moved during the execution of a search warrant.

Twomey said he took exterior photos of the house and garage and then took interior photos of the garage. McGovern showed him five photographs, which Twomey testified were some he took of the garage interior at the Fujita's residence.

He described the photos as they were shown on an overhead projector to jurors. He responded to McGovern's question about whether there were two bungee cords shown in one of the images -- he said there were.

Continuing to respond to McGovern's questions and indications of photos, Twomey testified in the affirmative that one of his photos, of a white trash container, was specifically focused on spots on the side of the container.

He then said a chemist and supervisor accompanying him as he took photos, drew his attention to a "reddish-brown stain" on the floor of the garage between the two bay doors.

Twomey said he drew a couple of diagrams of the garage, showings its features including the location of the "reddish-brown stain," the cars present and some car floor mats that were found in the garage.

Photos of the "reddish-brown" stain were marked as evidence and then shown to the jury.

Two photos included a tape measure and placard along with the stain, which was roughly paisley shaped.

McGovern had nine additional photos, depicting the floor mats mentioned earlier, marked for evidence. The judge has called for court to adjourn for the day.

We will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m. with the a full day of testimony expected.

2:38 p.m. -- Sullivan posted the receipt again, asking Heavey to explain what the protein powder does.

"It's used for a lot, mainly muscle recovery," Heavey said, going on to describe the size of the protein powder tubs.

"That purchase shows that on July 3 at approximately 5:39, two of those large tubs were purchased?" Sullivan asked, going on to ask how long a supply of that size would last.

Heavey said that the supply could last anywhere from one month to three months depending on how much of the powder a person uses each time.

"This [receipt] indicates that at this time, Mr. Fujita came in and purchased a one-month to three-month supply of this metabolic powder?" Sullivan asked.

"Correct," Heavey said.

The cross-examination has ended and Trooper David Twomey is next on the stand.

2:30 p.m. -- Cory Heavey testified that he worked until 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, 2011, at his job at the General Nutrition Store (GNC) at Natick Mall. He said that a man named Nathaniel Fujita came in "very close to closing" that day -- between 5:30 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.

"He was just coming in for protein that he'd already purchased," Heavey said. In addition, Fujita was looking for a female protein supplement as well, which Heavey walked him to because the other associate at the store did not know where it was shelved.

"Why is it that you're able to recall the fact that he bought Be Buff protein?" McGovern asked. (spelling of product uncertain)

"It's just not a very popular protein, which is why I had to think myself where it was located," Heavey said.

He continued that he remembered the interaction because he was "investigated" days later. Police officers came to the store and asked him to go through records of the transaction with Fujita.

Heavey examined transaction receipts and other documents from GNC that McGovern then presented as evidence. He explained to the jury that they are looking at a receipt from GNC at Natick Mall.

He pointed out on the particular receipt that a "Gold Card" used by Nathaniel Fujita was part of the transaction. The receipt shows a purchase of protein powder used "after exercise" in the form of a drink. The receipt shows two jars of protein powder as well as the Be Buff female protein powder. It also shows a free sample that was given to customers who purchased protein powder at that time.

The receipt marks the transaction took place on July 3, 2011, at 5:39 p.m., Heavey pointed out.

Heavey said that Fujita spent probably five to 10 minutes at GNC on July 3. Heavey also said that he didn't notice Fujita having any trouble conducting the transaction or walking or talking, in response to McGovern's question.

Heavey has identified the person he saw in GNC on July 3 as the defendant sitting at the table, dressed in a gray suit and white shirt.

Cross-examination is beginning now.

2:10 p.m. -- Emily Norton was back on the stand to open the post-lunch recess session.

Sullivan continued with his cross-examination.

"It would be fair to say he had very little affect all year?" Sullivan asked.

"Correct," Norton replied.

"Like talking to a wall, would you say?" Sullivan asked.

"Only in that a wall doesn't show emotion, so that would be the similarity in the lack of emotion of a wall and the lack of emotion of Nate," Norton said.

Sullivan asked whether Norton learned that Fujita had a language-based learning disability, and she responded that she was not made aware of that even during conversations with the defendant's mother.

Norton explained that she learns about students with learning disabilities through Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504s (which "provides the teacher with information about other types of needs a student has that don't fall under the IEP"), which they receive at the beginning of the school year. Norton testified that if new plans are put in place in the middle of the school year, a teacher would be informed.

After reiterating Norton's testimony that Fujita had been without emotion in her class, Sullivan asked, "Is it possible he was just bored with your class, and I mean that respectfully?"

"Yes," Norton said.

Sullivan questioned Norton's memory of what she told the detective about moving Fujita's seat.

Sullivan said that a Wayland detective's report indicated that Norton said she moved Fujita at mid-year, but Norton has testified today that she changed his seat assignment in April 2011.

Sullivan asked whether Astley complained when Fujita was seated next to her.

"No, she did not," Norton said.

Norton has stepped down. The next witness is Cory Heavey, an employee of General Nutrition Center (GNC) at Natick Mall in July 2011.

1 p.m. -- Norton testified, in response to Sullivan's questions, that she didn't know Nathaniel Fujita prior to him being in her environmental science class during his senior year.

Referring to Norton's decision to move Fujita's seat, "He was not participating in the class," but he didn't appear angry, Sullivan asked?

Norton said that he wasn't disruptive or talking, but that he was paying more attention to the boys around him.

"When I noticed that he was paying attention to the other boys, that was in the spring," Norton said. "Prior to that he was just quiet."

Norton said she thinks she moved his seat in April.

She said she knew that Fujita was on the football team and he was friends with other students in her class.

"You told us that his demeanor didn't change, but the results did," Sullivan said.

He received an A-minus during the first term down to failing by January, Sullivan said.

"That's a significant change for Nathaniel Fujita, from A-minus down to failing," Sullivan said, asking how many students went from A-minus to failing in January.

Norton consulted her record book at the witness stand and said that three others in the one class section went from high grades (Bs and Cs) in the first term to failing in the same span of time as Fujita did.

Norton testified that Beth Fujita responded quickly when she sent an academic warning home.

In the midst of Norton's testimony, Judge Peter Lauriat called for a lunch recess. We are to resume at 1:45 p.m.

12:45 p.m. -- Emily Norton, now retired, taught science at Wayland High School for 10 years, including during the 2010-2011 school year.

She taught an environmental science class in 2010-2011 and testified that Fujita was in her class that year, as was Astley. They were in the same section of the class, Norton said, and the class met six out of eight school days, according to the schedule at WHS.

Norton said that Fujita sat in the third row in the middle at the beginning of the 2010 school year.

"Towards the spring, I changed his seat, I moved his seat to try and get him to pay attention," Norton said.

The former teacher testified that Fujita looked to either side to boys who were sitting there. Norton said she moved him to the front row where "he did not pay more attention to me."

"He looked to his right, to the girl who was sitting next to him," Norton said. "It was Lauren Astley."

Norton said she wasn't aware of any relationship between Fujita and Astley when she moved his seat.

Norton said she kept attendance in the class and that Fujita had five absences during the fourth term.

"Seniors during the last term, it seems their absences increase, so several other students had five absences," Norton said.

Norton said she requires students to conduct a year-long project in which they identify "an environmental problem and tried to work toward the solution of that problem."

Norton said she told students she would do the same thing, since she was asking them to do it. Norton worked on a stretch of Route 27 during the 2010-2011 school year, she said.

"My project was to apply for grants and get a wildlife fence built on either side of the road," Norton explained. The area for the fence, she said, was between River Road and Water Row.

Norton said it was mainly students who hadn't come up with their own year-long project who volunteered to build the fence during three work days. A total of about 80-100 volunteers were involved and not all were students.

"Nate [Fujita] came on the first day, which was March 26, Saturday," Norton said. "He was there at least through the morning and during that time all the volunteers were working on the north side of Route 27."

Norton said she had volunteers sign in, and Fujita did.

"The night before I had made a whole bunch of sandwiches and cookies for the volunteers for lunch," Norton said. "Right before lunch ... I saw three of my students in a car ready to leave the parking area to go to lunch so I stopped them and offered them the sandwiches that I had made."

Norton said she remembered two of the three students in the car: One of which was Fujita, who was in the back on the passenger side.

Norton testified that Fujita received an A-minus in the first term of her course and by the middle of the second term, he had an F, a grade that prompted Norton to send an academic warning home with him. Norton said he finished the term, which ended in late January, with a D.

"I knew that his mother was concerned he would lose a football scholarship," Norton said.

Norton said she met with both Fujita and his mother shortly after she sent the warning home. In the third term, Fujita received a C-minus and in the fourth term received a D. He did pass the course, Norton said.

When asked to characterize Fujita's demeanor, Norton responded, "Nate was very quiet. He rarely if ever volunteered to contribute to discussions. He showed very little emotion. I rarely saw him smile. Never saw him frown, laugh. I didn't see any emotion.

"His behavior was consistent throughout the year," Norton said.

"There were two times in the spring when I saw him smile," Norton explained. "One time was when I moved him to the front of the room and I saw him smile at Lauren.

"The other time was closer to the end of the year when the whole senior class plays this elimination game, in which each student is assigned another student and they have to squirt them with a water bottle."

Norton said students can be saved from elimination with a "safety item."

Fujita smiled, Norton said, in the spring one day when he came in with a beach towel, beach ball and sunglasses -- presumably the so-called "safety items."

Norton said that Fujita was not disruptive in class other than not paying attention.

Sullivan is beginning his cross examination.

12:10 p.m. -- William Minnucci , a security provider at the Natick Mall, is being questioned by the Commonwealth's David Solet.

On July 3, Minnucci said he was working with the video cameras at Natick Mall.

Minnucci testified that he'd been asked to check back over video surveillance from July 3, 2011. He said he was asked to look for two individuals.

Minnucci said he lined up images of the individuals he'd been asked to search for and formatted them for regular playback.

"This disc has the chonological footage of the third of July," Minnucci said when asked to identify a disc for evidence.

The footage from the disc is being shown to the jury. Various angles and locations from the Natick Mall are featured on the disc and Minnucci is identifying those locations without talking about the people or events taking place in the footage.

Minnucci used a pen to mark on a map of the Natick Mall the locations of the cameras used in the video shown. He then drew a line to show the path of a "female figure" who was shown in the footage as she passed multiple cameras on July 3.

The footage appears to show both Fujita and Astley, though neither has been identified specifically in the course of testimony. Astley's parents, Malcolm Astley and Mary Dunne, appeared to react with tears at the video of the "female figure."

Sullivan's cross examination began at about 11:48 a.m.

Minnucci said he's worked at the Natick Mall for six and a quarter years.

"Are you made aware if there's any complaints of harassment or stalking or things like that?" Sullivan asked, referring to Minnucci's job description and responsibilities.

"If the employee let's us know, yes," Minnucci said, going on to respond that no reports of Fujita harassing or stalking Astley were filed.

Sullivan pointed out that in July 2011, Shop344 was located near GNC.

The male figure in the footage was seen at the end of an escalator near Sears. Minnucci said that the figure was not spotted on footage going to the GNC, but there could be dead spots in the cameras, because of their scanning pattern, that would not show him.

Sullivan asked whether there was any indication in the footage that the male figure had walked from the GNC to Shop344, and Minnucci responded that there was not.

Minnucci said crews check the time stamps once a month to ensure the camera is recording an accurate time with its footage.

Sullivan exhibited a still image taken from the camera footage that shows the male figure from the camera footage. The timestamp shows it was captured on July 3, at 5:36 p.m.

A second still image shows a male figure -- again, not officially identified as Fujita -- carrying a GNC bag and, according to Minnucci, facing toward the mall exit at 5:41 p.m.

Minnucci said he didn't locate the male figure exiting by the doors monitored by his security agency, but the figure could have left via doors not monitored by his security group.

Solet is now redirecting and wants Minnucci to estimate the "chug" cameras can experience as they process information and lose time on the time stamps.

Minnucci said it can be plus or minus five minutes, but that can be increased if the footage is transferred among a couple of recording devices.

Now Minnucci is looking at an image that appears to show Astley stepping off an escalator and the time stamp reads 18:51 (6:51 p.m.) Again, no individuals have been positively identified for the court and jurors.

The next witness is now being called. It is Emily Norton.

11:35 a.m. -- Cross-examination resumed with Sullivan asking about the third out building, which contained a weight bench. Manley described cobwebs and and a very dark building.

For his second visit, Manley was at the Fujita house during the early daytime. Manley said he couldn't determine whether the defendant had been sleeping in the hours since his first visit.

Sullivan points out that this second visit took place about 11 hours after Astley had been reported to be at the house.

Sullivan basically recapped Manley's testimony as told to McGovern, with Manley simply responding in the affirmative when Sullivan mentions a particular element of his testimony.

On the second exterior search of the house, Sullivan asked whether there were better sight lines, better visibilty since it was daylight.

"Were you able to see into the front area of this garage in the daylight as you're walking down Fuller Street?" Sullivan asked.

"It was more visible," Manley replied.

"It would be fair to say that the interior of that garage was much brighter at 6:30 or 7 in the morning than when you went there the night before?" Sullivan asked, to which Manley responded that it was.

Sullivan asked Manley specifically about the windows of the garage, which Manley said he didn't notice when he was there during his second search.

Sullivan showed a photo of a garage to Manley, pointing out the windows, but Manley said he couldn't identify with certainty whether it was the Fujita garage pictured.

Cross examination has ended. Commonwealth now calling William Minnucci.

11 a.m. -- William Sullivan's cross examination is underway.

Sullivan asked Manley to talk about responding to the Wayland Town Beach at about 11:30 p.m. on July 3.

Manley said he observed a Jeep (later determined to be Astley's) with the windows down and having a smudge on a rear window.

Sullivan asked Manley to talk about the buidlings located at Wayland Town Beach, which include a Boy Scout cabin, snack bar area and the Wayland/Weston crew team equipment shed. Sullivan also asked about Sandy Point and the other areas that officers searched around town beach.

Moving on to Manley's first visit to the Fujita home at about 12:30 a.m. on July 4, Sullivan asked about Manley's conversation with Fujita.

"When you're making these observations about how he [Fujita] was speaking and whether or not he was calm or whether or not he was cooperative, those were the first times you were making those observations?" Sullivan asked.

"That is correct," Manley replied.

Sullivan asked Manley to restate what Fujita told him about Sandy Point (which Manley addressed during the prosecutor's questioning) -- namely that Fujita was aware of the location, but had not been there that night.

Sullivan asked Manley whether there was a streetlight on Fuller Street and if he remembered that that garage doors were open when he conducted his first search.

"There was nothing that interfered with your ability to see into the garage from Fuller Street when you were coming down?" Sullivan asked.

Manley responded that there was not.

Sullivan questioned Manley about the nature and focus of his initial search of the Fujita property and out buildings.

"My focus and attention was places that someone might be hiding or concealing themselves," Manley said, talking about his search of the Fujita garage. "I'm looking for a person. I'm not focused on stickers or anything about the vehicle."

Manley responded to Sullivan's questions about the various out buildings, saying that the first and second ones were "cluttered" with garden equipment, yard furniture, bicycles and other items.

The third out building, Manley said, was long and narrow, but tall enough for him to walk through.

"I remember that being very dark," Manley said, of the third shed. "If there were windows, there weren't many."

Sullivan questioned Manley about the sight lines into the three sheds on the Fujita property. Sullivan also asked Manley whether he noticed a tarp in the yard of the home during his search, which Manley responded that he did.

Time for a morning recess. We'll be back in 15 minutes to continue the cross-examination of Manley.

10:35 a.m. -- Manley's testimony continued with his describing his second visit to the Fujita home, at about 6:30 a.m. on July 4.

Manley said he walked into the den and stood with Beth Fujita and the defendant, Nathaniel Fujita.

Both agreed to Manley's request at that point to search the home for Astley.

The defendant that morning appeared, "calm, polite ... his clothes were neat," Manley said.

Manley testified that when questioned again about his contact with Astley the night before, Fujita was then uncertain as to the time that Astley had arrived at his home.

"He seemed now more convinced that it was earlier than 7:45 p.m," Manley testified.

Fujita also said the conversation he'd had with Astley was longer than he'd said it was during the sergeant's prior visit, Manley testified -- now three to five minutes instead of the two to three he'd originally said it was.

Manley said he asked Fujita whether Astley had been agitated or annoyed during their conversation and whether Fujita himself had been angered during the conversation, to which Fujita responded no to both questions.

"I asked the defendant whether he considered Lauren to be suicidal," Manley testified. "He said, 'No.'"

Fujita told Manley that his and Astley's conversation took place "at the far end of the fence, near the property line."

Manley said he asked about the "nature" of their conversation and why Astley had come to the home on July 3.

"Lauren wanted to know why he was not coming out more and socializing with others," Manley said Fujita told him about the conversation.

When asked whether he could check his phone to see what time Astley called, Manley testified that Fujita said his phone was broken. He said that he'd contacted his mother earlier in the evening to ask, "Are you coming home?"

Manley said Beth Fujita told him that she "was encouraging the defendant to seek a different path."

Manley said he then searched the home, searching behind shower curtains, opening linen closet doors and entering the basement. He said Fujita stayed "very close" within "two to three feet" as he searched the first floor.

When he searched the basement, Manley said, he was alone.

He was stopped by a locked glass door in the basement and had to walk around to get into that room. While in that room, "the defendant appeared," which caused a little "surprise" to Manley.

"He had not followed me down the stairs until we were in that last room," Manley said.

Manley said he noticed a door with multiple locks and commented to Fujita that "Lauren would not be able to enter through that door."

Fujita replied, Manley said, that all the home's doors were locked and Astley would not have been able to enter the home.

"My feeling was he believed she could not have entered the home; she was not there," Manley testified.

Manley said he quickly walked through the kitchen, noticing there was nowhere to hide there. From there, Manley said, he proceeded up the stairs and Fujita was "right there with me."

The sergeant searched the bedrooms and bathroom of the second floor.

Fujita led the sergeant into his own bedroom, Manley said, which was littered with athletic trophies. Fujita stood by his closet while Manley "made an observation" of the room.

(McGovern has shown Manley what he said are photos of Fujita's bedroom). The attorneys are now in sidebar as Manley remains on the stand.

Manley is now talking about the photos as they are shown to the jury. He pointed out a "hole in the wall" to the right of Fujita's bed. Fujita, Manley said, apologized for the unkempt nature of his room.

Manley said he spent two to three minutes searching the defendant's bedroom.

The final bedroom he searched was what Beth Fujita had said was her own bedroom and that Tomo Fujita and a child were in there. Manley said he opened the door, saw Tomo Fujita and a child in the bed and left the room.

"Mrs. Fujita expressed concern about Lauren and to please keep them informed," Manley said, explaining the conversation that took place at the end of his approximately 20-minute search of the home.

Manley testified that he never had trouble understanding the defendant and didn't believe the defendant appeared to have trouble understanding him. Fujita did not have trouble navigating the stairs, Manley responded to McGovern's questions.

After exiting the home, Manley said he returned to the outer buildings to check them a second time.

Manley is now examining photographs that he says are taken of the exterior of the Fujita home, the garage and out buildings.

Manley said the vehicles were parked in a "similar manner" to what they were the night before. He said he spent some more time in the third shed, the one with the workout bench, and "broke through the cobwebs" that time to make certain Astley wasn't in the very back corner.

At that time, Manley said, he didn't consider Fujita to be a suspect in Astley's disappearance or anything else at that point.

He returned to the Wayland Town Beach lot at that point. Manley said about 15 minutes after returning to the town beach, a radio transmission came through that a body had been found on Water Row. Wayland Det. Sgt. Jamie Berger left then to respond to Water Row, Manley said, but the other officers remained at Wayland Town Beach, where Astley's Jeep remained until about 2 p.m. when it was towed to the Wayland Police Station.

Manley said his shift ended at 3 p.m. on July 4.

Defense attorney William Sullivan is beginning his cross-examination.

9:55 a.m. -- Wayland Police Sgt. Richard Manley, now retired, was called to the witness stand.

Manley testified that he was the sergeant in charge during a shift from 11 p.m. on July 3, 2011, through 7 a.m. on July 4, 2011.

Manley testified that Officer William Smith was originally sent to the wrong address on West Plain Street when he went to talk with Nathaniel Fujita on July 3. He said Smith eventually arrived at the Fujita residence, after some assistance frmo the dispatcher at the police station, on West Plain and spoke with the defendant.

Manley himself went to Wayland Town Beach where he said he spoke with friends of Lauren Astley, Chloe Jacques and Ariel Chates, who were at Town Beach looking for her along with Astley's parents, Malcolm Astley and Mary Dunne.

At about 12:30 a.m., Manley himself went to the Fujita home, he testified, in order to ask the defendant whether he had been to Sandy Point, a popular hang out for teens in Wayland.

Beth Fujita, the defendant's mother, answered the door within "about 30 seconds."

Manley asked to speak with the defendant, who came to the door quickly.

"It seemed immediate as if he was somewhere in the area when I entered the threshhold," Manley said in reference to how quickly Fujita came to the door when he was asked for.

(Prosecutor Lisa McGovern has entered as an exhibit a photo of the inside of the Fujita home, looking at the front door).

Manley testified that he spent about 10 minutes talking with Beth Fujita and the defendant.

"He [Fujita] was attentive, seemed to be interested as to my purpose in being present," Manley said. "There was some eye contact. He was calm, polite, cooperative."

When asked whether he'd had any contact with Astley since Officer Smith had visited earlier, Fujita told Manley no.

Manley said he next asked whether Fujita had been at Sandy Point that night, and Fujita responded that he had not.

"At some point he said, 'I hope you find her,'" Manley said Fujita told him, with a voice that was "calm, civil, no voice fluctuation, steady ... normal tone of conversation."

Fujita told Manley that Astley had contacted him earlier in the evening, but that  she never got out of the car when she came to visit, and they talked for two to three minutes.

"He said that they had been dating until some time in April of that year, then described as on-again, off-again and then seeing little of each other," Manley said Fujita told him.

"He did not think that she was interested in rekindling the relationship," Manley said Fujita responded when asked about the status of his and Astley's relationship. "He put his head down, shook his head, paused for a moment, said he didn't think so."

During the pause, Manley said, Beth Fujita spoke up to say, "that she thought it best that both go their separate ways. They were growing differently or needed to grow differently."

Beth Fujita offered to go to the Wayland Town Beach and help with searching for Astley, Manley said.

Manley said he asked them to contact police if they heard anything and Beth Fujita and the defendant asked for a similar response.

Manley then said he asked to search the Fujita property.

"Based upon the information that [Fujita] had provided earlier ... that she had contacted him to come to the home ... I had to consider that she had walked back to the property without the knowledge of the defendant," Manley said, explaining why he wanted to search the property.

They were agreeable to Manley's request to search the property.

"Some of the sheds may have a lock on them and he would provide a key or come out and unlock them if necessary," Manley said he was told by Fujita.

Manley searched the exterior of the home, "looking for someone who might be hiding."

He said he looked in the garage, where both doors were open. Manley said he used his flashlight to conduct a "quick scan of the garage itself and one vehicle parked inside."

"I recall walking around the [vehicle] on the inside and illuminating the windows with my flashlight to see whether anyone was inside," Manley said of his examination of the car in the garage, a small SUV. "I was satisfied that there was not."

Manley said after searching both vehicles, the one in the garage and another small SUV parked outside, he searched three small out buildings. All were unlocked, Manley testified, and held yard tools, some yard furniture and a workout bench, respectively. Manley said it was "not a thorough search, very brief."

As he walked back to his police vehicle parked on Fuller Street, Manley said the defendant appeared and asked whether he needed access to any of the sheds.

"I was surprised," Manley said of Fujita's appearance. Manley told him all the sheds were unlocked and Astley was not there. At that point, Smith said, he returned to Wayland Town Beach where multiple individuals were still there searching for Astley.

At about 1 a.m., Manley requested a "ping" from Verizon on Astley's cellular phone. Manley explained that this effort identifies "through a GPS device, if it was equipped with one, what her location was."

Fort-five minutes later, Manley said, a response to the ping revealed that Astley's phone was last registered at about 7:20 p.m. on July 3, about 1.75 miles from 139 Old Connecticut Path.

Manley requested a K-9 unit at about 3 a.m., but it was not available until much later. A K-9 unit arrived at about 5:30 a.m.

At about 2 a.m., Manley said he asked Malcolm Astley to file an affidavit regarding his daughter's disappearance.

The Wayland Fire Department, Manley said, were called the morning of July 4 to conduct a search of Lake Cochituate and the K-9 unit also searched the area.

At about 6:30 a.m. on July 4, Manley testified, he returned to the Fujita residence. He said he went back to search the house itself and ensure Astley was not hiding there before more resources were devoted to the search for her.

Manley said he knocked several times before Beth Fujita answered, "A minute to two" after he knocked.

Beth Fujita asked him to enter further into the home. Manley said he saw the defendant walking down a rear hallway toward the kitchen.

His testimony continues.

9 a.m. -- There are a number of spectators in the courtroom today that haven't been here so far in the trial. At 9:03 a.m., neither the defendant, Nathaniel Fujita, nor Judge Peter Lauriat have entered courtroom 530 at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

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