Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

October 23, 2013

Student charged in high school teacher's murder

DANVERS, Mass. — A high school math teacher in suburban Boston was murdered Tuesday night, and a 14-year-old student has been charged in her death.

Classes today were cancelled in Danvers, about 20 miles north of Boston, as police investigated the murder of Colleen Ritzer, 24, who was in her second year of teaching at Danvers High School. A portion of the school was marked off as a crime scene.

A 14-year-old student, Philip Chism, was charged with her murder in adult court Wednesday afternoon and held without bail.

Chism was the subject of a public alert by Danvers police Tuesday afternoon when he didn't return home from school. A soccer player, Chism had recently moved to Danvers from Tennessee.

Police later received a report, at 11:20 p.m., that Ritzer had not returned to her home in nearby Andover and was not answering her cell phone, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said during a press conference Wednesday.

Police went to Danvers High School and found blood in a second-floor bathroom. A search of the area turned up Ritzer's body in woods near the school.

"It is apparent she was a homicide victim," Blodgett said.

Police found Chism and took him into custody just after midnight. He was walking north in the southbound lane of a busy highway.

Police determined from talking to Chism, and watching school surveillance footage, that he had killed the teacher and disposed of her body near the school, according to documents filed in court. The report offered no details of how she was killed or of a possible motive.

Ritzer attended Andover High School, graduating in 2007. She graduated from Assumption College, in Worcester, Mass., in 2011, and she began teaching at Danvers High in September 2012.

She maintained a Twitter account at @msritzermath, where she posted homework assignments and described herself as "a math teacher often too excited about the topics I'm teaching."

She was known for encouraging and tutoring students, as evidenced by her posts to Twitter. A week ago, she wished sophomores and juniors luck on their PSATs. In early August, she wrote, "No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."

Ritzer was working toward a master's degree in school counseling at Salem State University, according to the college's president, Patricia Meservey, who described her as "a bright and vibrant student."

"As a dedicated teacher, Colleen wanted to work with and help children with special needs," Meservey said in a statement. "She believed children have much to offer and often do not realize how special they are as individuals."

Blodgett described Ritzer as a "very, very respected teacher" and said her murder was a "terrible tragedy."

Details for this story were reported by The Salem, Mass., News and The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • Fuel tanker overturned in Oakland; evacuation underway

    OAKLAND — A tanker carrying a load of propane reportedly overturned Wednesday morning in the town of Oakland, forcing an evacuation of the area, according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 16, 2014

  • West Virginia DMV expanding online services

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is widening its online service offerings.
    West Virginians now have the option to renew their vehicle registration and request a duplicate registration card online.

    April 16, 2014

  • Cherry blossoms boost Metro ridership

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says good weather and the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom contributed to high ridership over the weekend.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Student charged at Mineral County Vo-Tech

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser Police responded to the Mineral County Vocational Technical Center on Monday at 10:46 a.m. for an incident in which a 21-year-old student was allegedly thrown into a wall by a 17-year-old student.

    April 15, 2014

Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
NDN Video