14-Year-Old Indicted For Rape, Murder Of Danvers High School Teacher
BOSTON (CBS) – A 14-year-old has been indicted for murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery in the killing of 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer last month.
Prosecutors allege that Philip Chism was armed with a box cutter when he robbed Ritzer of her credit cards, an iPhone and her underwear. The indictment alleges that Chism “sexually assaulted the victim with an object.”
Police say Ritzer was killed in a school bathroom after classes were dismissed on October 22.
Her body was found in the woods behind the school.
The cause of death has been ruled a homicide, however the ruling on the exact cause of death is pending.
“The indictments returned today detail horrific and unspeakable acts,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. “This is the first step in a long process to secure justice for Ms. Ritzer and her family.”
Chism had previously pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and is being held without bail. Though Chism is just 14-years-old, he is still being tried as an adult on the murder charge.
“We are devastated and heartbroken by the details of the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of our beautiful daughter and sister, Colleen,” the Ritzer Family said in a statement Thursday.
One of Ritzer’s students, Kara Behen, says she cried when she heard the details, and the sadness is with her at school every day. “Every week I talk with someone, a counselor at the school, and we talk about everything that has happened,” says Behen. “We’re a small community and as tragic as this was, it brought us all together. Still, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
Student Sarah Ciruolo says she still avoids parts of the school building.
“You walk past the bathroom or classroom and it brings you back,” says Ciruolo. “You think about why was it her. Whether I’m walking into school, walking out of school or in between classes, it always occurs to me, why did he do this?”
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report
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