Teacher Found Dead Outside Mass. High School; 14-Year-Old in Custody

Update: Oct. 23, 2013, 12:00 p.m. -- A 14-year-old Massachusetts student, Philip Chism, was charged with first degree murder Wednesday after a math teacher was found dead in the woods outside her high school.

Chism was ordered held at his arraignment in an adult court in Salem, Mass.


(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 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 would be arraigned later Wednesday.

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.

Public schools in Danvers were closed for the day.


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