On Tuesday, while 24-year-old Algebra teacher Colleen Ritzer was teaching, she noticed one of her students drawing instead of taking notes. According to witnesses after commenting that she didn’t know he could draw, Ritzer asked the student to stay after class. That is the last time Ritzer was seen alive.
Ritzer never returned home that day and her body was found in the woods behind Danvers High School, about 20 miles north of Boston.
The student held after class, 14-year-old Philip Chism, was picked up by police in the early morning hours Wednesday, walking along Route 1 in neighboring Topsfield.
Chism was arraigned on a murder charge Wednesday and was ordered held without bail.
Police have not released how Ritzer was killed or any possible motive.
Sources have said Chism moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee just before the school year started. He apparently adapted well and was the leading scorer on the junior varsity soccer team.
Ritzer was described as an enthusiastic, caring teacher who often stood outside her classroom saying hello to all of the students.