Tragedy Recounted: Family Members of Murdered Teacher Colleen Ritzer Speak Out, ‘There is Great Pain and Sorrow’

Screenshot 2014-05-06 at 1.08.23 AMThe parents of a 24-year-old high school math teacher who was raped and murdered last Fall have spoken out about their loss as the student accused of killing her prepares to face trial. 

Colleen Ritzer was brutally raped and murdered in a bathroom at Massachusetts’ Danvers High School last October and police belive 15-year-old transfer student Philip Chism is to blame. 

In a video released yesterday, the teacher’s parents Tom and Peggie Ritzer issued a statement speaking about their loss while also thanking the community for their support. 

‘These past six months have been a period of great pain and sorrow for our family and all those who knew and loved Colleen,’ mother Peggie said.

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‘Each day presents new challenges but we are blessed by the support of family and friends. Through the many acts of genuine kindness to honor our daughter and sister, our spirits are lifted. Though difficult, we strive to follow Colleen’s words to find good in every day,’ Mrs Ritzer added. 

On Sunday, more than 3,000 people turned out to participate in a 5K race in Andover to support the Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund.

In the video, Mr Ritzer thanked everyone for turning out to raise money in Colleen’s name.

‘Thank you for your kind words, generous gestures and support of the scholarship fund in Colleen’s name that will empower future generations of thoughtful, caring teachers to emulate Colleen’s passion to inspire students to discover their full potential,’ Mr Rtizer said, flanked by Mrs Ritzer and Colleen’s sister Laura and brother Tom.

Meanwhile, Colleen’s alleged killer Philip Chism is being held without bond on charges of aggravated rape and first-degree murder.

Authorities still don’t know what motivated the now 15-year-old transfer student from Clarksville, Tenneessee to kill his teacher.

But law enforcement officials told MailOnline in February that they were investigating a lead that Chism tortured cats by setting them on fire before he moved to Massachusetts. 

While it’s not thought he was arrested for the animal abuse, it is something investigators are looking into to establish a motive for Colleen’s murder. 

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