Classmate: Danvers teen stayed after school

Parents and Danvers High School students hold candlelight vigil to mourn the death of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School, on Wednesday in Danvers, Mass. Ritzer's body was found in woods behind the school, and Danvers High School student Philip Chism, 14, who was found walking along a state highway overnight, was charged with killing her. AP photo

Parents and Danvers High School students hold candlelight vigil to mourn the death of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School, on Wednesday in Danvers, Mass. Ritzer's body was found in woods behind the school, and Danvers High School student Philip Chism, 14, who was found walking along a state highway overnight, was charged with killing her. AP photo

DANVERS — A teacher who was allegedly killed by one of her students had asked him to stay after school the day she was killed, a classmate said Thursday, as students met with grief counselors and tried to come to grips with the slaying of the popular teacher.

Philip Chism, 14, was charged with murder Wednesday in the death of Colleen Ritzer, a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School.

Rania Rhaddaoui sat two seats away from Chism in Ritzer’s Algebra I class, the final class of the school day. She said Chism was drawing in a notebook rather than taking notes Tuesday.

“She came over and said, ‘I didn’t know you draw,’ and he said, ‘yes,’ then later on, she said, ‘Can you stay after with me?’” Rhaddaoui said. “Obviously, he stayed after because when I was leaving, he was still at his desk.”

She said Ritzer had scheduled a test for Friday, but she was unsure why exactly Ritzer asked Chism to stay after school.

Ritzer never returned home that day. Blood in a second-floor bathroom helped lead investigators to her body, which was dumped in the woods behind the school in a close-knit community about 20 miles north of Boston.

Chism was picked up by police in the early morning hours Wednesday, walking along Route 1 in neighboring Topsfield. His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.

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