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Math Teacher’s Body Found Behind School
The body of a twenty-four year old Danvers High School teacher who went missing has been found and declared dead. Colleen Ritzer was a math teacher at the high school and was reported missing when she didn’t return home or answer her cell phone, according to Boston.com. Neighbors described her as caring with a sweet smile and that she always dreamed of being a teacher. The suspect charged with her murder is surprising as he is only a fourteen year-old boy, Philip D. Chism, and also a new student to the school, coming from Tennessee. He is being held without bail and is subject to a mental competency evaluation.
The situation is new to the community and they simply don’t understand that this could have happened in their peaceful town. The high school has been closed for further police investigation, scaring many students. A junior at the school, Caitlan McBride, told reporters, “We are all terrified. It’s very scary. No one will ever look at this school the same way anymore.” Ritzer’s body was found in the woods behind the school after blood was discovered in the second-floor bathroom. It has also been noted that the teenage suspect missed soccer team practice and a team dinner, all taking place between 4 PM and 6 PM. Both persons were deemed missing. No further information has been given about the boy due to the state law protecting the rights of juvenile offenders. It is unclear whether Chism knew the teacher.
Those who did know Ritzer had nice things to say about her. Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said, “She was a very, very, respected, loved teacher . . . It’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community.” Neighbor, Mary Duffy, was quoted as saying, “She was gentle, with a big smile. It makes no sense.” Ritzer’s family has thanked everyone for their concern and prayers, and prefer for everything to remain private. Ritzer was known to say hello to students she didn’t teach and was also studying for a master’s degree at Salem State University. It was her second year as a teacher at Danver’s.
The boy was known by teammates as being “amiable, hard-working, pleasant” and made friends easily in his first month at the school. He was found wandering along the road by Topsfield police early this morning. There are no other suspects in the murder case. Chism is described as being “tall and lanky with close-cropped hair.” According to The Huffington Post, teammate, Kyle Cahill, described Chism as the “opposite of aggressive.”
Image Credit: Boston.com