Colleen Ritzer, a math teacher with Danvers High School in Massachusetts, was found dead near the school on Wednesday. Police say that she was killed and a homicide investigation is underway.
The Essex District Attorney confirmed that the teacher was Ritzer, 24. Her body was found in the woods, The Associated Press reported.
Officials told the news agency that blood was found Tuesday night in the Danver High School bathroom after a search was carried out by officials. Ritzer failed to return home that night, prompting authorities to look for her.
Schools were closed down in Danvers on Wednesday due to the homicide investigation. Danvers has five elementary schools, a middle school, as well as a high school.
On Twitter, an account belonging to “Colleen Ritzer” reads that she is a “math teacher often too excited about the topics I’m teaching.”
“Geometry – here is the link to the review packet answer key as well as extra problems if interested,” reads her last post.
Two students told the Globe they were stunned with the development.
“We are all terrified. It’s very scary,” said Caitlin McBride, a junior at Danvers High School. “No one will ever look at this school the same way anymore.”
Another student, Danvers High senior Kendall Meehan, described the incident as “just terrifying.”
“Nothing like this ever happens in Danvers,” Meehan told the Boston Herald.
Officials described Ritzer as a “beloved” teacher by students and staff members.
“She was a very, very respected, loved teacher. At 24 years of age, as I said, it’s a terrible tragedy for the entire Danvers community,” said Blodgett. “There is no reason to believe other suspects are involved.”
A neighbor of the Ritzer family, Mary Duffy, echoed Blodgett’s statement.
“She always wanted to teach math. Her mother, I believe, is probably a math whiz,” Duffy told the Herald. “She was a quiet, pleasant girl with many friends. She was just like the ideal daughter. She is. This family is a family of America, They are the ideal family, they are friendly, they are loving, close,” she said.