EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 23, 2013

Neighbor remembers Colleen Ritzer as pleasant, happy


The Salem News

DANVERS — Mary Duffy, a neighbor at 7 Dascomb Road, said Colleen Ritzer had lived on Dascomb Road all her life. She has two younger siblings, a brother and sister, both in the Andover schools.

Ritzer, 24, was found dead in a wooded area near Danvers High School, where she was a math teacher.

Duffy described Ritzer as pleasant and happy. She loved children and always wanted to be a math teacher.

"She was a quiet, unassuming girl with a beautiful smile," she said. "She was a lovely child."

Duffy said she was overcome with sobbing when she heard the news. The Ritzers moved to Dascomb Road in 1978, Duffy said. She said the family was close and known for coming together.

"I love the family and they have a beautiful family," Duffy said. "If every family throughout America was like that, there would be no trouble. It would be a utopia."

Ritzer talked a lot about being a teacher while at Andover High School.

"She loved doing it," Duffy said.

Duffy said while news of a murder of a teacher by a pupil is not surprising in this day and age, "it is shocking because I knew her and I'm devastated by the loss."