BULLETIN: (UPDATED 10:37 A.M. EDT U.S.A.) A 24-year-old teacher reported missing late last night was found murdered in the woods near Danvers High School in Essex County, Mass., prompting the closure of all schools in the district today, authorities said.
Precisely how Colleen Ritzer died was not revealed at a news conference by District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. The conference concluded minutes ago and was carried live by WHDH.com.
A 14-year-old has been taken into custody and is a suspect in the killing, authorities said.
Police began investigating after Ritzer did not return home from work last night. Upon checking at the school, police found blood in a restroom. Ritzer’s body later was found in the woods, Blodgett said.
“She was a very, very, respected, loved teacher,” Blodgett is quoted in the Boston Globe as saying about Ritzer. “It’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community.”
Police yesterday had received a report that a 14-year-old male was missing and last had been seen “at the Hollywood Hits Cinema on Endicott St around 6:30 this evening,” Danvers police said.
The boy later was found and apparently now is the suspect in the death of Ritzer, who taught math at the school.
It is the second murder this week of a teacher in the United States. Mike Landsberry, a math teacher in Sparks, Nev., allegedly was shot and killed Monday at Sparks Middle School by a 12-year-old who shot two other pupils before shooting himself to death.
Yesterday’s killing of Ritzer mars the celebratory mood in and around Boston, where the Red Sox will open the World Series tonight versus the Saint Louis Cardinals. The Boston region is still recovering from the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon in April, just as baseball season was getting under way.