An award-winning college professor in central Pennsylvania who has been missing for at least three days was found dead Friday. Law enforcement believe he was murdered, according to a new report. Ronald Bettig, who has been teaching in the Penn State University College of Communications since 1988, was last seen Saturday afternoon.
George G. Ishler Jr. has been charged with first and third degree murder, local news outlet Centre Daily reported. The news was first announced via a tweet from Greg Bock, a journalist with the Altoona Mirror newspaper. A homicide investigation has been launched as a result, but a motive for the alleged murder was not immediately announced. A missing person's case began three days after he was first noticed missing.
According to Bock, Pennsylvania State Police said Bettig fell 80 feet to his death after being pushed off a ledge by Ishler, who drove him to the undisclosed location without making his alleged intentions known.
The body of Bettig, 56, was found in a quarry, though it was not immediately clear if it was found near campus, his home or elsewhere. Law enforcement officials in the Pennsylvania town of State College — where Penn State's main campus is located — turned the case over to state police on Wednesday.
Additional details are apparently scarce, and not much more information about Ishler was announced aside from the facts that he is 39 years old and was living in the town of Pennsylvania Furnace, an apparent suburb of State College.
According to his bio on Penn State's website, Bettig was teaching "undergraduate and graduate courses on the political economy of communications." Bettig won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Communications Alumni Society in 1996. In addition, he was named the Faculty Marshal five times.
StateCollege.com reported that Bettig lived in the nearby town of Lemont. He is the second missing person case in the State College area.