Teacher found dead outside Mass. high school; 14-year-old in cus - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Teacher found dead outside Mass. high school; 14-year-old in custody

Posted:

Courtesy NBC News

By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

A math teacher was found dead Wednesday in the woods outside her Massachusetts high school, and authorities said they would charge a 14-year-old student with murder.

The body of the teacher, identified as Colleen Ritzer, 24, was found just after midnight in the woods near Danvers High School, about a half-hour outside Boston. Blood was found in a second-floor bathroom at the school, authorities said.

Authorities said their murder investigation was connected to their search for a missing 14-year-old boy the day before, but they did not explicitly say that he was the juvenile charged in the killing.

They said the 14-year-old charged with murder would be arraigned later Wednesday. They did not discuss a motive, nor how the teacher was killed.

Jonathan Blodgett, the Essex County district attorney, told reporters that it was a "terrible tragedy."

"She was a very, very respected, loved teacher," he said.

On what appeared to be her Twitter profile, Ritzer posted about her enthusiasm for geometry proofs and listed homework assignments. Earlier this month, a tweet encouraged her followers to "find something good in every day."

Her students took to Twitter to express their shock and grief. One called Ritzer "literally the sweetest, most harmless person ever. she always wanted to help anyone in any way she could." They also spread word of a candlelight vigil at the high school Wednesday night.

Ritzer graduated magna cum laude from Assumption College in Massachusetts with a math degree, the school confirmed.

Public schools in Danvers were closed for the day.

Tracy Connor of NBC News contributed to this story.

Read on NBC News

  • Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:18:18 GMT
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
  • Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:14:28 GMT
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
  • Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:10:57 GMT
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>