14-year-old followed teacher into bathroom, slashed her throat before she was found dead in woods:
The 14-year-old boy accused of killing a beloved Massachusetts teacher has allegedly confessed to slashing her throat with a box cutter in a school bathroom before dumping her body in a nearby patch of woods, according to a report.
Philip Chism admitted to police that he followed math teacher Colleen Ritzer into a second-floor bathroom at Danvers High School — where he punched her in the face and sliced her throat, a source told FOX 25 News.
The teen stuffed the teacher’s body into a recycling bin, which he used to drag the dead woman to the wooded area behind the school on Tuesday, the news station reported. Students at the school told the Daily News that they spotted a blue garbage can with wheels along the edge of the parking lot, near where Ritzer’s body was found.
Authorities did not reveal any motive for the senseless killing.
Hundreds gathered in the parking lot of the school late Wednesday to honor the young teacher with a candlelight vigil. The Boston Red Sox held a moment of silence for Ritzer before Game 1 of the World Series.
“She was just filled with joy,” said Charlotte Dzerkacz, who taught alongside Ritzer for a year.
“She always talked about how much she loved her family,” she said. “She’s just a wonderful, loving person. … She really was the nicest person you could ever meet.”
The slain teacher’s family said in a statement that Ritzer dreamed of a life in the classroom.
“Everyone that knew and loved Colleen knew of her passion, her teaching and how she mentored each and every one of her students,” the statement read.
The tall, lanky teenager showed no emotion in Salem District Court earlier in the day, when he was ordered held without bail for the young teacher’s murder.
Chism had moved to the area over the summer with his family from Tennessee.
Police launched a manhunt for both Chism and Ritzer — who were both reported missing within hours of each other Tuesday.
Investigators found Ritzer’s body shortly after midnight while combing through the area around the school after they found blood in the bathroom, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.
Chism — a star player on the school’s junior varsity soccer team — was arrested a short time later, when he was spotted walking along a roadway in the neighboring town of Topsfield, about 24 miles north of Boston.
A police report indicated that the teen was charged after an interview and evidence, including video, was collected at the school. The report also suggested that Chism knew the teacher through school, but did not elaborate.
Some teammates of the 6-foot-tall soccer player, who was the team’s lead scorer, were stunned that he was accused of the murder.