Details have begun to emerge in the murder of a Massachusetts teacher, who went missing earlier this week.
24-year old Colleen Ritzer was found dead in a wooded area behind the school where she taught–Danvers High School–after she was reported missing by friends and family. Police searched the school on Tuesday night and found blood in the faculty bathroom before discovering her body outside. Now, a 14-year old student has been arrested and charged as an adult for her murder, but investigators don’t have a motive.
Philip Chism was from a good family and is described as a “good kid”. He had recently moved to Danvers from Tennessee and had joined the soccer team. Investigators now have to piece together what everyone knows of Chism with what they know: that the teenager slit Ritzer’s throat with a box cutter and stabbed her before stuffing her body in a recycling bin to dispose of it.
“[He] might have been upset, you know teenagers go through that. He’s 14, growing up still. That’s the only thing that I can imagine. That’s the only think that I can imagine because I can’t imagine anything else. It’s like a story-book kid. Perfect family,” the boy’s uncle, Terrence Chism Blaine, said.
Ritzer taught math at the school and was well-liked by both students and faculty. Normal class hours have either been postponed or suspended this week as administrators work to establish a counseling service for the grief-stricken community. A candlelight vigil was held in Ritzer’s honor at the school on Wednesday.
“She was just a young, caring girl that had the whole world ahead of her. And to be taken so early is just horrible,” Ritzer’s uncle, Peter Martellucci, said.
Image: Wikimedia Commons