Cops: Longtime Penn State Prof Murdered by Friends

Ronald Bettig was found at the bottom of a quarry
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2016 9:58 AM CDT
Missing Penn State Prof Was Pushed to His Death
Ronald Bettig   (Penn State)

A longtime Penn State professor was allegedly murdered by his friends in an attempt to profit off his death, the Centre Daily Times reports. The body of 56-year-old associate professor of media studies Ronald Bettig was found Wednesday in a Pennsylvania quarry—two days after George Ishler reported him missing. Danelle Geier, who lived with Bettig, allegedly told police she and Ishler lured Bettig to the quarry Aug. 12 on the pretext of harvesting marijuana. Authorities say Bettig was pushed off an 80-foot cliff at the site, reports WGAL. Geier told police she waited in the car while Ishler killed Bettig, according to a court affidavit. Police say the pair originally planned to drown Bettig in the ocean.

Ishler allegedly told police he was upset about Bettig and Geier's relationship and didn't like how Bettig was treating Geier during a trip to the beach. Police, who describe Ishler and Geier as "known drug users," say Ishler was in possession of a will recently signed by Bettig. Ishler was charged with murder; no charges have been filed against Geier at this time. Bettig started teaching at Penn State in 1988, according to a statement from the university that describes him as an "intensely private" person and a "nutty professor," if you didn't know him well. "We are deeply saddened by the loss," a colleague says. "He was a part of the fabric of this college for many years." (More Penn State stories.)

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