Before 14-year-old Philip Chism allegedly killed his algebra teacher, the pair had at least one more encounter as student and teacher, a witness said.
Chism had been doodling and listening to music during Colleen Ritzer's algebra I class during the school's final period, classmate Cambria Cloutier told CNN. Creating such drawings was unusual for Chism, and when the final bell sounded at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday, Ritzer asked him to stay after class.
Cloutier sat two desks over from Chism, who rarely participated in class discussion but was "a really good student," she said.
While shuttling between two after-school meetings, Cloutier said, she looked into the same classroom and saw Ritzer standing by her computer and Chism sitting in a chair about 5 to 10 feet away. The teacher smiled at her, Cloutier recalled.
At some point that afternoon, Ritzer went to a student girls' bathroom on Danvers High's second floor, as someone was in the locked faculty bathroom, a source close to the investigation said.
Chism allegedly followed her in.
The school reopened its doors Friday, as the first answers began to surface.
How was Ritzer killed? With a box cutter the suspect, Chism, had brought into school, a source close to the investigation says.
What happened to her body afterward? It was stashed in a recycling bin, rolled outside, then dumped about 20 feet into woods behind the northeastern Massachusetts high school's athletic fields, adds another source. It was left there -- not buried, not even covered.
And where did the alleged killer go afterward? After changing his clothes, he went to a Wendy's fast-food restaurant and a movie, sources say, before police in a neighboring town saw him walking on a busy road under the pitch-dark sky early Wednesday.
Yet the question of why this happened -- why a popular young educator who always wore a smile and went the extra mile was killed allegedly by a teenager who friends, family and co-workers described as reserved and well-behaved -- continues to loom large.
Chism, who had moved to the Boston suburb of Danvers before the start of the school year, remains jailed without bond. A grand jury will play a big part in deciding his next step: If they indict him for first- or second-degree murder, he -- like any juvenile age 14 or older -- would be tried as an adult, based on Massachusetts law.
Meanwhile, the tight-knit North Shore community is still trying to make sense of what he allegedly did and of life without a teacher who so many appreciated, learned from and loved.
"It's just surreal how quickly someone can go, and how much we take for granted every day," said Danvers High student Chris Weimert. Ritzer was "the nicest teacher you could ever have. I can't believe it."
There will be a wake for Ritzer at St. Augustine Church in Andover on Sunday, and her funeral will take place there Monday.
A member of the Ritzer family, who declined to be named, said the family is "doing as well as can be expected."
Two missing-persons reports come together
Students and colleagues described the 24-year-old Ritzer as someone who gave everything for her students -- be it a pat on the back, a sensible explanation to a tricky concept, or the time, effort and heart to work through problems, math or otherwise, with them.
One of those students was Chism, a freshman.
Sometime after Ritzer held him back after class, she was killed in the bathroom.
There, Ritzer was punched a few times before being killed with a box cutter around 3:30 p.m., said a source.
Her body went into a recycling bin, then outside the school where it was tossed. Authorities eventually found a bin that apparently had been thrown off an embankment about 100 feet away from Ritzer's body, a source said.
Before police found her -- before they even knew she was missing -- they'd started looking for Chism.
This was in the early evening, with Danvers Police tweeting to residents that he hadn't returned home and was last seen around the Hollywood Hits movie theater in the town about 20 miles northeast of Boston.
Scott Przybycien, the theater's manager, told CNN that Chism arrived around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday and caught the start of the Woody Allen film, "Blue Jasmine," about 15 minutes later. Surveillance video, which was turned over to police, confirmed that Chism was there until the movie let out around 6:15 p.m., he said.