Teen Charged In Murder Of Danvers Massachusetts High School Teacher

Massachusetts (CBS) – A teenager has been charged with killing a Danvers high school teacher, authorities said Wednesday, hours after all public schools in town were closed for the day.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer, a math teacher, was found dead in the woods behind the school early Wednesday morning, a short time after she had been reported missing.

Blodgett said it was "apparent she was a homicide victim."

The chain of events started Tuesday evening when a 14-year-old boy was reported missing by Danvers police.

Later, at 11:20 p.m., Blodgett said police received a report that a teacher had not returned home from school and was not answering her phone.

Investigators later found blood in a second floor bathroom at the high school, the D.A. said.

About an hour later, Topsfield police found the missing 14-year old walking on Route 1.  He was taken to Danvers police and a short time later Ritzer's body was found in the woods behind the high school.

Blodget would not say how she died or what her relationship was to the teenager.

"We have no reason to believe any other suspects are involved," Blodgett told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning at the high school.

The teenager will be arraigned on a charge of murder in Salem Juvenile Court Wednesday.

Blodgett said he cannot release the teen's name or comment on the connection between him and the teacher because the suspect is a juvenile.

"She was a very, very respected and loved teacher," Blodgett said of Ritzer.


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