A teenager accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death while she was on a high school graduation trip, reportedly locked himself in hotel room with her dead body for hours.
Blake Linkous is accused of killing Natalie Martin, 18, while she was staying with friends in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, after both teens had graduated from the Philo High School in Duncan Falls, Ohio on May 26.
Brooklyn Ferrell, Natalie's best friend, said she saw Linkous emerge from the hotel room where he is said to have killed his girlfriend on June 7. He had stab wounds to his chest, where he had allegedly tried to kill himself.
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"At about 9 am, 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?'" she said.
She added that Natalie broke up with Linkous because of his violent behaviour towards her: "He took her and threw her across the room.
"He was trying to make amends and apologised to her all the time. He would text me constantly asking what I should do to get her back," she told Fox News.
Linkous allegedly attacked Natalie on June 6 and he was arrested on June 8.
Natalie was found dead in her hotel room and police were called. EMS was on the scene but police were told she was already dead.
The Criminal Investigations Department took over the investigation and a report says "suspicious circumstances were detected".
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Linkous is now being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center without bond, records show, after he was arrested by the Horry County Police.
"Blake William Linkous did with malice aforethought cause the death of Natalie Martin," the incident report says. "The defendant did so by manually strangling the victim."
Philo High School Principal Troy Dawson said: "We're hurting. It's a tragedy. We are just shocked with disbelief.
"She was well-liked by her classmates and teachers and was very sweet and very funny… I'm shocked that this would happen to anybody by anybody."
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