A teenager charged with the savage killing of a popular Massachusetts math teacher left a note near her body reading "I hate you all," according to court records released today.
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Phillip Chism, 14, allegedly scrawled the note and left it next to the body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, according to a search warrant affidavit presented in court today. The body was found in a wooded area near Danvers High School on Oct. 23.
The affidavit states that according to a witness Chism appeared to become suddenly enraged during after-school tutoring, but that he also had gone to school that day prepared with a box cutter, ski mask, gloves and a change of clothing.
After killing Ritzer and dumping her body in a wooded area, he abused the corpse and took her underwear, cell phone, drivers license and credit card, according to the affidavit.
Chism is charged with murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery in Ritzer's death. He has pleaded not guilty to the initial murder charge, but has yet to enter a plea in the additional charges which were released Thursday. His lawyer declined to comment today.
The affidavit was written by Massachusetts State Trooper Robert LaBarge Jr. in order to obtain a search warrant for Chism's home, computers and school books.
It describes a particularly gruesome and vicious scene. LaBarge wrote that Ritzer's body was "sexually staged," and she was naked from the waist down with her bra pulled below her waist. Her remains were sexually assaulted with a branch and the body was covered with leaves and debris, the document states.
Next to Ritzer's body was a folded note stating "I hate you all," LaBarge's affidavit states.
Chism was being given extra help after school along with a female student on Oct. 22. The other student told police that Chism and Ritzer "were having a conversation about China." She said that "at some point, Ms. Ritzer mentioned Tennessee. She said that Philip became visibly upset after she mentioned Tennessee."
Chism, who had recently moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee, then began "talking to himself," the affidavit states.
Shortly after, Ritzer left to go to the ladies' room and school security cameras captured Chism putting on gloves and then walking into the bathroom after her, the affidavit states.
A female student who entered the bathroom briefly after Chism told police she saw someone undressed in the bathroom and clothes on the floor.
The security cameras caught Chism leaving the bathroom with a hood over his head and wearing a change of clothes, LaBarge's statement said.
The student is accused of hauling Ritzer's body out of school in a recycle barrel to a wooded area near the school. Police said he then went to a movie theater not far from the basement apartment he shared with his mother and two sisters in his aunt's home, according to the record.
That evening, missing persons reports were filed for both Ritzer and Chism.
At 12:30 a.m. Topsfield Police Officer Neil Hovey found Chism walking along a busy highway. Hovey frisked the teen and found "a bloodstained boxcutter" in his backpack, the affidavit states.
"Officer Hovey asked where the blood on the boxcutter came from. Chism responded, 'the girl,''' LaBarge wrote.
Chism also had Ritzer's credit card and two Massachusetts driver's licenses belonging to the teacher along with what police believe was her underwear taken from the crime scene.
"A pair of women's bluish/green sheer underwear were found in Chism's backpack as well,'' the affidavit states.
Chism told the officer he found Ritzer's belongings at a nearby grocery store.
Chism's mother told investigators that she was in the process of a "stressful divorce" and was living in her aunt's basement. She was not in court today.