BOSTON – A young educator, with an admitted over-enthusiasm for teaching, was found slain in the woods Tuesday behind a Massachusetts high school.
She was reported missing Tuesday night and authorities later found her body in the woods behind the school.
Authorities have charged a 14-year-old student, Phillip Chism, with the murder.
Chism has been charged as an adult, which could subject him to a longer prison sentence in an adult facility, reports Rueters.
Officials have yet to release a cause of death or suggest a motive in the killing.
Ritzer’s family issued a brief statement asking for privacy, according to the story.
“At this time we are mourning the tragic death of our amazing daughter and sister,” the family said. “Everyone that knew and loved Colleen knew of her passion, her teaching and how she mentored each and every one of her students.”
Chism moved to the Danvers district from Tennessee at the beginning of the school year and was described by fellow students as having a pleasant manner with a quiet personality.
“From what I know about him and seeing him every day, it just doesn’t add up that he would do such a thing, unless this was all an act to fool somebody,” said classmate Ryan Kelleher.
At some point on Tuesday evening, Chism and Ritzer reportedly crossed paths and he allegedly killed her.
An investigation began when both Chism and Ritzer were reported missing Tuesday evening. After finding blood in a second floor bathroom at the school, investigators were eventually led to the woods where they found the teacher’s body, reports the news story.
Chism was later found walking along a highway at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
This is the second tragic case of a teacher being murdered by a student this week.
On Monday, a teenage gunman in a Nevada middle school shot and killed a teacher before taking his own life. The victim was Michael Landsberry, a 45-year-old math teacher and Air National Guard reservist. The gunman was a 12-or-13-year-old student.
Danvers classes were canceled on Wednesday and set to be open for two hours today for students to meet with counselors and grief specialists. Classes are scheduled to resume on Friday.
By Trevor TenBrink at EAGnews.org