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Danvers homicide: 14-year-old charged in second US teacher killing this week (+video)

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(Read caption) A 14-year-old high school student, Philip Chism, was arraigned for the murder of math teacher Colleen Ritzer on Wednesday morning.
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A 14-year-old high school student has been charged in the death of a math teacher in a suburb of Boston – the second killing of a teacher in the United States this week.

Philip Chism was arraigned in adult court on Wednesday morning for the murder of Colleen Ritzer, whose body was found in the woods near Danvers High School.

Police began an investigation into the disappearances of Philip and Ms. Ritzer after they were reported missing on Tuesday evening.

Blood was discovered in a second-floor bathroom at the school late Tuesday night before her body was found behind the facility, according to the Associated Press.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning, Philip was spotted walking along a road in Topsfield, Mass., a town about five miles away from Danvers.

In court documents, law enforcement officers said they arrested Philip based on statements made by the suspect and corroborating evidence at multiple scenes. They also recovered video surveillance.

Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said there is no reason to believe anyone else was involved and there is no threat to public safety.

“It is apparent that she is a homicide victim,” Mr. Blodgett said at a news conference. “This is a terrible tragedy for the family of Colleen Ritzer and the entire Danvers family.”

Ritzer, who was in her 20s, was a native of Andover, Mass., and an alumna of Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in math, a minor in psychology, and a secondary-education concentration. 

"She was the nicest teacher anyone could ever have. She always had a warm smile on her face," said Chris Weimert, 17, who took Ritzer’s geometry class last year.

Ritzer had a Twitter account that she updated with homework assignments for her class. In her biography, she wrote: “Math teacher often too excited about the topics I’m teaching.”

Her relatives said she had a passion for teaching and mentored each one of her students, the AP reported.

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