Scores of mourners gathered at St. Augustine Church in Andover Monday morning to remember slain Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer as an “amazing daughter and big sister.”
The funeral for Ritzer, 24, was held Monday morning at the Andover church. On Sunday, hundreds of people attended Ritzer’s wake, which was also held at the church.
Ritzer was remembered as always having a smile on her face and thinking of others first, her family wrote in her obituary. She was also remembered as being her sister’s biggest fan and attending her hockey games.
The passionate and dedicated math teacher from Andover was allegedly killed last week by one of her students.
Police arrested Philip Chism, 14, and charged him with Ritzer’s murder on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.
Authorities said both Ritzer and Chism were reported missing on Tuesday. Blood was found in a second-floor bathroom of Danvers High School and Ritzer’s body was later found in the woods near the school.
Chism was found by police walking along Route 1. He was questioned and arrested.
Investigators said in a police report that they charged Chism after interviewing him and reviewing video surveillance from the school.
Chism’s mother released a statement on Saturday in which she said she is struggling to understand what has happened and asked for prayers for everyone, including the Ritzer family.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.