Danvers High School Student Will Be Charged with Murdering Teacher

The body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, was found behind the school Tuesday night.

By | Boston Daily |

A 14-year-old Danvers High School student will be charged today with murdering a 24-year-old math teacher after her body was found in the woods behind the school.

According to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett at a¬†press conference, the suspect, later identified as Philip Chism, ¬†didn’t return home from school Tuesday and was reported missing that afternoon. Danvers teacher Colleen Ritzer, too, was reported missing at around 11:20 p.m. when she didn’t return home or answer phone calls. Police found blood in a second-floor bathroom and later found Ritzer’s body behind the school. The suspect was then found by Topsfield police at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday walking north along Route 1.

Though the D.A.’s office initially cited state law in refusing to name the suspect, Danvers police had¬†announced on social media at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday that they were looking for a 14-year-old boy named Philip Chism who had recently moved to Danvers from Tennessee. That was before Ritzer had been reported missing. Then at about 7:15 a.m. this morning, police tweeted that Chism had been found safe.

Danvers High School cancelled classes Wednesday and a wing of the building was taped off for a police investigation. Already people are  mourning Ritzer, and poring over her social media presence. That included a Twitter account, @msritzermath, where she posted homework assignments and talked about her love of math, and a Facebook account, where she posted inspirational quotes and Boston Strong tributes.

Update 1:15 p.m.: Philip Chism appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, where he was charged with murder and ordered held without bail. He will be tried as an adult and has a probable cause hearing November 22. A judge approved a mental evaluation for him. CBS Boston has video of the proceedings.


Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/10/23/danvers-high-school-student-will-charged-murdering-teacher/