Search of teen’s cellphone completed

Authorities have completed their search of the shattered cellphone of Philip D. Chism, the teenager accused of murdering his math teacher at Danvers High School in October, but they are not divulging what they found.

Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, confirmed that investigators filed a search warrant “return” with Essex Superior Court indicating that the search of the phone has been completed. But she said the return does not disclose what, if anything, was found.

“We are required to notify the court once we complete our search, which is what we did,’’ she said.


“We didn’t specify what was found in the search and no conclusion, one way or the other, should be drawn. We are not required to provide it’’ as part of the search warrant process, she said.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Chism was 14 when he allegedly attacked Colleen Ritzer, 24, inside a bathroom at the school on Oct. 22 and then used a recycling bin to haul her to the woods next to the school, where her body was found early the next day. Chism, who faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated rape, and armed robbery, is being held without bail.

Chism destroyed and discarded both his and Ritzer’s cellphone, but later told police where to find them.

In seeking a warrant to search the cellphone, a State Police detective asserted that it could contain evidence that Chism had planned his crime — or even a recording of the crime.

The detective said it was likely that Chism had destroyed his phone to hide “incriminating evidence on it, including but not limited to evidence of his planning, motive, and any memorialization of his crime.”


A pretrial conference is slated for April 7.