An Ohio teenager who is accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend on a senior trip last month had allegedly sat in the room with her dead body for hours before stabbing himself in the chest, according to new details about the murder.
Police allege Blake Linkous, 18, strangled his ex-girlfriend Natalie Martin, also 18, while the two were on a post-graduation trip in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The teenagers had just graduated from Philo High School in Duncan Falls, Ohio, in May and were staying in a South Carolina rental with a group of friends.
“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, a friend of the couple, claimed to Fox News.
Ferrell, who spoke at Martin’s funeral earlier this month and identified herself as one of the teenager’s oldest friends, said two of their friends attempted to give Martin CPR but it was “way too late.”
“She was cold and stiff,” Ferrell said.
Martin and Linkous had broken up in February, according to Ferrell. The friend alleged Linkous, who was a high school wrestler and football player, had become violent with Martin at one point before their breakup. “He took her and threw her across the room,” Ferrell alleged.
The former couple was arguing the day before the murder because Martin was texting another man, according to Ferrell.
The next night, Ferrell said the group of friends on the trip went out to a club but Martin said she wasn’t feeling well and went back to the rental home with Linkous.
When the group returned later that night, Ferrell said they needed to go in the back door because no one was answering at the front. The door to Martin and Linkous’ room was also locked, the friend said.
Everyone on the trip was asleep by 7 a.m., according to Ferrell, but they were awoken two hours later when Linkous allegedly burst out of the bedroom, bleeding from the chest, and quickly repeating that “Natalie’s not waking up!” according to the friend.
County jail records show Linkous is still incarcerated without bail and awaiting a murder trial. The death has shook the small Ohio town where the couple is from, said Ferrell, who started a GoFundMe to help Martin’s family.
An obituary said Martin “had a life-long love for softball and soccer” and worked locally as a childcare provider, forming “many special bonds” with the children under her care.
“Natalie lived her life to the fullest with joy, laughter, and love,” according to her obituary. “She brought true happiness to all that knew her. She had a free, pure and wild spirit with a contagious laugh, a personality out of this world that could bring anyone out of their darkest of days.”
Martin is survived by her parents, Megan Dingey and Jesse Martin, and her brothers, Kash Garber and Wyatt Martin.
“Natalie’s beauty shined like a ray of sunlight and her smile could brighten a whole room,” her memorial read.