Community, family reacts to teacher's death - CBS46 News

Community, family reacts to teacher's death

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Best friend, former teacher of the teacher found dead in Massachusetts speak out. (Source: WHDH/WBZ/POOL/FACEBOOK.COM/DANVERS POLICE DEPT/CNN) Best friend, former teacher of the teacher found dead in Massachusetts speak out. (Source: WHDH/WBZ/POOL/FACEBOOK.COM/DANVERS POLICE DEPT/CNN)

(WHDH/WBZ/POOL/FACEBOOK.COM/DANVERS POLICE DEPT/CNN) - A moment of silence was observed for Colleen Ritzer at Fenway Park during the World Series Wednesday night.

"She would smile and the whole room would light up," said Jennifer Berger, Ritzer's best friend.

Berger says her best friend since kindergarten was living her childhood dream of being a math teacher.

"She was talking about how this year was such a good year," Berger said. "She was teaching freshmen for the first time. She seemed to enthusiastic. She was just happy."

Her life cut short. Her body left outside the school where she loved to teach.

"I don't even know what the world's like without her. It's a scary, scary thought," Berger said.

The loss felt by an entire community.

Students and colleagues at Danvers High School say Ritzers' enthusiasm as a teacher was limitless, spilling over onto her Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

So why would one of her own students, Philip Chism, 14, allegedly assault and beat her to death?

During his arraignment on a charge of murder, he stayed silent.

Chism had gone missing after school Tuesday.

Adding to the mystery- Ritzer's family reported she hadn't returned home that night.

The teen was found in a nearby town. The teacher's body discovered sometime later in the woods behind her school.

"She's the last person to hurt anybody, so obviously she was defenseless," said Joe Spanos, Ritzer's former teacher

Investigators allege Chism incriminated himself in police interviews and there was evidence on video cameras from Danvers High School - was well as blood found in a second floor bathroom.

A source close to the investigation says Chism went to the movies after allegedly killing Ritzer.

As a new student at Danvers, Chism was making strides as a soccer player.

"He didn't seem to be anything bad, nothing out of the ordinary, just a quiet normal kid," said Kyle Cayhill, a student.

Ritzer's best friend still coming to grips with this tragedy.

"Something like this doesn't happen to someone like Colleen someone who's so good and so far, you know, it's not fair," Berger said.

The prosecution indicates it wants Chism to be tried as an adult, but that decision is ultimately up to a grand jury.

Classes will not be held at the high school in Danvers on Thursday, but it will be open for grief counseling.

Copyright 2013 WHDH,WBZ, POOL,FACEBOOK.COM,DANVERS POLICE DEPT via CNN. All rights reserved.

 

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