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Missing Penn State professor dead, man charged with murder

A Pennsylvania Furnace man has been charged in the death of Penn State professor Ronald Bettig.
A Pennsylvania Furnace man has been charged in the death of Penn State professor Ronald Bettig.

The body of a missing Penn State professor was found in a quarry, state police at Rockview said Friday in a release.

George G. Ishler Jr., 39, of Pennsylvania Furnace is accused of killing him, according to police.

Ronald Bettig, 56, of Lemont, was reportedly last seen at 12:30 on Aug. 13. State College police launched a missing person’s case three days later. The case was turned over to state police on Wednesday, according to State College police Lt. Keith Robb.

A joint investigation by state police at Rockview and State College police revealed that Ishler Jr. allegedly drove Bettig “to the quarry under a ruse.” Police say Ishler Jr. pushed Bettig off the quarry’s ledge, resulting in an 80-foot fall that caused his death. Police believe Bettig died between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 12.

Ishler Jr. was charged with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. He was denied bail by Magisterial District Judge Thomas Jordan. His preliminary hearing is at 11 a.m. Aug. 31.

Bettig’s vehicle was found Aug. 17 off Rimmey Road in Potter Township.

According to Penn State’s web site, Bettig joined the College of Communications in 1988 and was an associate professor of media studies. He taught courses on the political economy of communications and had authored at least two books on the subject, the site said.

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