14-year-old boy charged with murder of math teacher

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:05am

A 14-year-old boy was being held on a murder charge Wednesday after the body of a female teacher was found in woods near the high school in Danvers, Massachusetts.

All seven schools in the suburban Boston town were closed as a result of the investigation.

Authorities found Colleen Ritzer's body behind Danvers High School after the 24-year-old failed to return home after classes Tuesday, according to the Essex County District Attorney's Office. Searchers found blood in a second-floor bathroom, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett told reporters at a news conference.

He did not release the cause of her death.

The boy, who also had been reported missing Tuesday afternoon, was arrested early Wednesday after being found walking down a street, Blodgett said.

He was to be arraigned on a murder charge in a closed juvenile court session Wednesday, Blodgett said. There are no other suspects, he said.

Blodgett did not say whether the boy is a student at the school and said he could not release the boy's name or his connection to Ritzer because he is a juvenile.

"This is a terrible tragedy for Colleen Ritzer and the entire Danvers community," Blodgett said.

It wasn't immediately clear why the district closed all of its schools after the discovery of Ritzer's body.

Danvers, a town of about 26,000 people about 20 miles northeast of Boston, has a high school, a middle school and five elementary schools.

Ritzer's death comes the same week as the death of a teacher who tried to stop a student with a gun at a middle school in Sparks, Nevada.

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