• Danvers murder suspect's family releases statement


    DANVERS, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- An attorney representing the mother of the teen accused of killing Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer released a statement Saturday.

    The statement expresses the Diana Chism's grief, saying on Oct. 22 two families were "unexpectedly and inconceivably changed forever."

    "Ms. Chism's heart is broken for the Ritzer family and the loss of their daughter and sister Colleen Ritzer," reads the statement in-part.

    The statement goes on to say Philip Chism, who is being held without bail on a murder charge, was "born in love" and is very dear to his mother.

    "She asks that you know that she cares for the world's hurt over this and greatly hopes for your prayers for the Ritzer family, the Danvers community, for her son, and all those affected by this tragedy," says Diana Chism's attorney.

    Colleen Ritzer was found deceased in a wooded area behind Danvers High early Wednesday morning.

    Chism's Algebra I classmates claim Ritzer asked the 14-year-old to stay after class when she noticed him drawing in a notebook.

    Investigators allege Chism followed her into a second floor bathroom after school ended Tuesday, stabbed her with a box cutter, and carried her body out of the school in a recycling bin.

    Chism was picked up by police Wednesday morning on Route 1 in Topsfield.

    Ritzer's murder rattled the town of Danvers and her hometown of Andover. Her students described her as someone who was always smiling and loved to teach.

    Chism had moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee before the start of the school year and excelled on the junior varsity soccer team. His teammates described him as quiet, but not someone they would expect to be violent.

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