Ronald Bettig was shoved to his death from an 80-foot cliff by two people who believed they were named in his will.
A man and a woman allegedly, conspired and pushed a Penn State professor to his death after believing they were named in his will, police said. Rockview State police uncovered the murder plot after finding Ronald Bettig’s body in a quarry on Wednesday.
Danelle Geier, 32, who was aliving with Bettig before his murder, originally planned with 39-year-old George Ishler, to kill the media studies professor by drowning him during a trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
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Bettig, who has been a professor at Penn State since 1988, had been friends with the two suspected killers, Geier and Ishler, who police said were “known drug users”. The pair told police they believed Bettig named them in a new version of his will, and are accused of killing him for the benefits.
Ishler later lured the 56-year-old associate professor to a quarry near Rimmey Road in the Potter Township, with the promise of being able to harvest marijuana plants along the cliffs. Once up there, police said the suspect shoved Bettig off, dropping him 80 feet below to his death.
Ishler told police he heard Bettig’s body “crunch” upon impact, according to the police report.
The two then faked the scene by putting Bettig’s water bottles, flashlight, hand rake and a bag near the quarry, along with his car, to make it look like he was alone.
The professor had been missing since Aug. 12, but the two waited three days before telling police Bettig was gone, suggesting he might have fled to California.
The two were busted after officers noticed inconsistencies with their stories.
The day Bettig was killed, Ishler had gotten into an argument with the professor, calling him “ignorant” to Geier.
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In a text message to Ishler, Geier wrote, “So ready I am pissed off,” in a likely reference to killing the academic. She told officers that she was angry at Bettig for criticizing how she was raising her child. Geier was arraigned on Saturday and faces charges for murder, aggravated assault, evidence-tampering and conspiracy.
Ishler had already been charged with first-and third-degree murder, Friday. He is being held without bail pending a hearing at the end of the month.