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New Details Emerge In Slaying Of Popular Suburban Boston Teacher

By Jenn Bernstein

BOSTON (CBS) – A 14-year-old boy is accused of brutally slaying a popular Massachusetts math teacher.

Philip Chisum stands accused of killing 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer in the town of Danvers which is Northeast of Boston.

Chisum stood in front of a judge Wednesday, arraigned on a murder charge and ordered held without bail.

On Tuesday, police received a report Chisum had not come home from school.

Later that evening, police got another call that Ritzer was also missing.

“Danvers police initiated a search for the teacher and discovered blood in a second floor bathroom at Danvers High School,” said Essex County Prosecutor Jonathan Blodgett.

Her body was later discovered in woods behind the High School.

According to court documents, interviews with Chisum and surveillance video indicate the teacher was attacked inside the school.

Chisum was found walking down a road in a neighboring town early Wednesday morning.

At court Wednesday, the boy’s mother covered her face as they left.

Police say they’d just moved into this home a few months ago; they previously lived in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Chisum’s friends were shocked to learn he’d been charged with murder.

“He was never violent, he was always cool with everybody, fit in with every group,” said Tyler Willard.

The 14-year-old attended Danvers High School, and a nearby elementary school in the town.

His uncle believes there must be some kind of misunderstanding, since he says the boy he knows is a good kid.

“This is the furthest thing from reality for me to believe that Philip could get entangled like this,” said Terence Blaine.

Danvers High School will remain closed Thursday, as investigators continue to search for clues.

Police are not commenting on a motive.

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