14-year-old accused of killing math teacher in Danvers, Massachusetts

DANVERS, Mass. - A 14-year-old high school student was accused of killing a 24-year-old math teacher, whose body was found in the woods behind the school.

The body of Colleen Ritzer, of Andover, was found in a wooded area near Danvers High School early Wednesday, and the boy will be arraigned on a murder charge, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.

Police started investigating after Ritzer was reported missing late Tuesday night because she had not returned home from work and was not answering her cellphone. Investigators found blood in a second-floor school bathroom and soon located the victim, Blodgett said. He did not say how Ritzer died.

"She was a very, very respected, loved teacher," Blodgett said, calling the killing a "terrible tragedy."

The boy also was reported missing Tuesday after not coming home from school. He was spotted walking along a road in neighboring Topsfield at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

His name was not made public because of his age. He faces arraignment Wednesday in juvenile court, where proceedings are closed to the public.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News there is surveillance video inside the high school that shows the student dragging Ritzer's body from the bathroom toward the woods in what appeared to be a recycle bin.

Ritzer had a Twitter account where she gave homework assignments, encouraged students and described herself as a "math teacher often too excited about the topics I'm teaching."

Several student athletes at Danvers High School told ABC News the suspect was a junior varsity soccer player and said they had searched for him when they found out he was reported missing. ABC News reported that the boy had recently moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee.

There is no reason to believe anyone else was involved and there is no public safety danger, Blodgett said.

All Danvers public schools were closed Wednesday.

Ritzer is the second teacher allegedly killed by a student in the U.S. this week. A Sparks, Nev., middle school teacher was allegedly shot by a 12-year-old student on Monday.

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