(DANVERS, Mass.) — A 14-year-old has been charged with murdering a “loved” Massachusetts high school teacher whose body was found in the woods behind Danvers High School.
The teen, whose name was not disclosed because he is a juvenile, faces arraignment Wednesday in Essex County Juvenile Court, where he is charged with killing 24-year-old math teacher Colleen Ritzer.
“She was a very respected, loved teacher,” said Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. “At 24 years of age, it’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community.”
Earlier this week, police in Danvers, a community north of Boston, had sent well wishes via Twitter to Sparks, Nev., after a school teacher was killed there by a student.
“Thoughts are with those families affected by the Sparks Middle School Shooting today & especially with 1st responders from Sparks PD,” according to the Danvers Police Department Twitter feed.
Police discovered Ritzer’s blood in a second floor bathroom late Tuesday night before her body was later found behind the school, Blodgett said. He declined to say how the teacher was killed or what the motive might have been.
“The teacher was reported missing and as a result of that, and her not answering her cellphone, police instituted a search and found blood,” Blodgett said.
All public schools in Danvers had been closed Wednesday morning for reasons undisclosed until prosecutors revealed the grisly news.
The 14-year-old suspect, who law enforcement sources say had recently moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee, had been reported missing Tuesday after he failed to return home from school. He was found Tuesday night in a neighboring community.
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