14-Year-Old Student Charged With Murdering Math Teacher
In the second violent school crime this week, a 14-year-old was arrested and charged with murdering a 24-year-old math teacher, whose body was found in the woods behind their school early Wednesday morning.
Colleen Ritzer was reported missing late last night after she failed to return from Danvers High School and didn't answer her cell phone. Police searched the school for Ritzer, discovering blood in a second floor bathroom; her body was found later in woods near the school.
“She was a very, very, respected, loved teacher. It’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said at a press conference Wednesday morning.
"She always wanted to teach math," a neighbor, Mary Duffy, told the Boston Herald. "She was a quiet, pleasant girl with many friends."
Ritzer was an active on Twitter, where she would assign homework, interact with students and show support for Boston sports teams.
Philip Chism was arrested shortly after midnight when police found him walking along a highway. He'd been reported missing Tuesday night after missing a soccer practice and a team dinner. According to several students who spoke to the Boston Globe, Chism was leading scorer on the school's JV soccer team.
Blodget, the district attorney, did not release any information about the relationship between Ritzer and Chism or how Ritzer was killed.
Public schools were closed for the day in Danvers. "We are all terrified. It’s very scary,” said Caitlin McBride, a junior at Danvers High, told the Boston Globe. “No one will ever look at this school the same way anymore."