FIRST ON FOX: The Ohio teenager accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend on a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, allegedly locked himself in a room with her corpse for hours, then emerged after stabbing himself in the chest, according to the victim’s best friend.
Police say Blake Linkous fatally choked Natalie Martin, both 18, inside a vacation rental on Maison Drive on June 6, where at least five other friends were staying for the post-graduation celebration-turned-nightmare.
“At about 9 a.m., Blake came out, he had stabbed himself in the chest and everyone got up and was freaking out and asking ‘Where’s Natalie? Where’s Natalie?'” Brooklyn Ferrell told Fox News Digital.
Two of Martin’s friends went into the bedroom and found her on the floor and started CPR. “It was way too late for that. She was cold and stiff,” Ferrell added.
“I’m angry at him because he is a better person than this. He truly is.”
— Brooklyn Ferrell said of the teenager accused of killing her best friend
The day before the gruesome discovery, the ex-high school sweethearts were fighting over Martin texting another man, but the dispute was quickly resolved.
The group went out to a club, but Martin wasn’t feeling well and headed home early with Linkous. Two of their friends returned about 10:45 p.m. but had to enter through the back of the house because no one was answering the front door, Ferrell said.
Ferrell said he was alone in the room with her corpse for hours.
Blake Linkous is accused of fatally strangling Natalie Martin during a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Facebook/obituary)
Linkous, a high school football player and wrestler, and Martin, who loved softball and soccer, dated for about three years before they split up in February after he allegedly assaulted her at his house in front of a group of their friends.
“He took her and threw her across the room,” according to Ferrell.
“I’m angry at him because he is a better person than this. He truly is,” she said.
Ohio teenagers Natalie Martin and Blake Linkous at their prom. Linkous is accused of strangling her on a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Facebook)
The slaying has deeply shaken the small Ohio town. “It’s been devastating for our community,” said Ferrell, who spoke at Martin’s funeral last week at Cornerstone Church. “I looked up at the people while I was talking, and they were all bawling. They just weren’t ready to let her go.”
The best friends worked together at a local day care, and Martin wanted to earn a degree in child education. “She was really goofy,” Ferrell told Fox News Digital. “You couldn’t find anyone else like Natalie.”
Blake Linkous is being held without bail for allegedly murdering high school sweetheart Natalie Martin on June 6 during a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Facebook)
Ferrell launched a GoFundMe for Martin’s family, which has raised more than $32,000 as of Thursday.
Linkous was arrested June 8 on one count of murder and is being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center without bond, records show.