HS teacher found dead, 14-year-old faces murder charges

HS teacher found dead, 14-year-old faces murder charges

A 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher has been found dead, and a 14-year-old boy is facing a murder charge in the case, Essex County prosecutors said this morning.

Colleen Ritzer’s body was found in the woods behind the school, said Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. Citing state law, Blodgett did not name the suspect.

The suspect had been reported missing Tuesday after he did not return home from school. Ritzer was reported missing at about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when she did not return home and did not answer her cellphone.

Police searched the school and found blood in a second-floor bathroom. Ritzer’s body was found later behind the school, Blodgett said.

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“She was a very, very, respected, loved teacher. … It’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community,” Blodgett said.

The juvenile was found by Topsfield police at 12:30 a.m. today walking north on the southbound side of Route 1. He is to be arraigned today in juvenile court.

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