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The Danvers, Massachusetts public schools system has been closed for today as police investigate the murder of a beloved 24-year-old Danvers High math teacher. A 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the killing.
District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said that the death of Colleen Ritzer was a tragedy for the entire community, reports the Boston Herald. “She was a very, very respected, loved teacher. At 24 years of age, as I said, it's a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community,” he said. “There is no reason to believe other suspects are involved.”
The juvenile, who was not named in accordance with state law, is being arraigned in Salem District Court today. Blodgett said he will “take a very hard look” at possibly charging the boy as an adult.
According to the Boston Globe, Ritzer was reported missing on Tuesday night after she didn’t return home and there was no answer from her cell phone. The suspect was reported missing Tuesday as well, and was found walking by Route 1 in Topsfield at 12:30 a.m. this morning.
The DA woulnd’t go into details of the case, such as how Ritzer was killed or what evidence linked her death to the boy. Her body was found in the woods near Danvers High.
While police would not confirm the boy’s name, Danvers police did tweet at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday that they were looking for Philip Chism, who had recently moved from Tennessee. At 7:16 a.m. this morning, police tweeted that he was found safe.
“We are all terrified. It’s very scary,” Caitlin McBride, a junior at Danvers High, told the Globe. “No one will ever look at this school the same way anymore.”