EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 23, 2013

District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's statement on Danvers slaying

DANVERS — Let me begin by making it clear that this is an ongoing investigation that involves a juvenile. Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 119, Chapter 60A, I am prohibited from disclosing specific information about the juvenile at this time.

As a result of a missing persons report filed with Danvers Police late yesterday afternoon, Danvers Police initiated an investigation to located a 14 year old male, who had not returned home from Danvers High School that day.

At approximately 11:20 last evening, Danvers Police received a report that a Danvers High School teacher had not returned home from work and was not answering her cell phone. As a result of that report, Danvers Police initiated a search for the teacher and discovered blood in the second floor bathroom at Danvers High School. The school was immediately secured.

At 12:30 this morning, Topsfield Police responded to reports that a pedestrian was walking north in the south bound lane on Route One. Officers approached the pedestrian and soon realized that he was the person that was the subject of the Danvers Police alert. The juvenile was transported to Danvers Police.

As a result of a joint investigation by the Massachusetts State Police, Danvers and Topsfield Police, the body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, of Andover was located in the woods near Danvers High School. It was apparent that she is a homicide victim. She was a teacher here at Danvers High School.

We have no reason to believe that there are any other suspects involved. The juvenile suspect is expected to be arraigned today in Salem Juvenile Court for murder. It is a juvenile session and the courtroom will be closed.

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