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Reports: Box cutter used to kill Mass. math teacher

11:07 AM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
Slain Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer is seen in this undated photo provided by her family. (Photo: AP/Lawrence Eagle-Tribune)
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A box cutter was used to kill the 24-year-old math teacher whose body was found in the woods near her Massachusetts school, multiple media outlets were reporting Thursday.

Philip Chism, 14, is charged with murder in the death Tuesday of Colleen Ritzer, who taught at Danvers High School. Myfoxboston.com, citing an undisclosed source, was among media reporting that Chism told police he followed Ritzer into the women's restroom, punched her in the face and slashed her throat with a box cutter.

Fox reported that Chism then put Ritzer's body in a recycling bin and dragged it into the woods.

Police had tweeted Tuesday that Chism was last seen about 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Hollywood Hits movie theater in Danvers. Theater manager Scott Przybcien told the Boston Herald that Chism saw the 4:30 p.m. screening of the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine.

"All we know is, he bought a ticket, saw a movie and left," Przybcien told the Herald. "It was a fairly busy day. He blended right in.

"I think he just was wandering, looking for a place to hide. A movie theater is a perfect place for that. That's what we do for a living - forget about life for two hours."

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said police were notified at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday that Ritzer had not returned home from work and was not answering her cellphone.

Police went to the school and found blood in a bathroom. Her body was found soon thereafter.

Investigators said in court documents that the arrest was made based on statements by the suspect, evidence from school surveillance cameras and corroborating evidence in multiple places.

Police found Chism, who was reported missing Tuesday night, walking along a road in nearby Topsfield shortly after midnight Wednesday morning.

He was charged with murder on Wednesday.

USA Today

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