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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PSU professor struggled personally, professionally before death: Co-workers, acquaintances

By Colin Deppen | cdeppen@pennlive.com
PennLive.com

Editor's note: The information about Ronald Bettig's death has been taken from police, court records and a court hearing.

STATE COLLEGE — At first, Ronald Bettig was going to drown in the waters off Delaware's Rehoboth Beach.

But that plan, hatched by Bettig's two traveling companions in his State College-area home, failed when they reached the surf, police say.

It was two days later, while stopped at a gas station on the way back to Centre County, that authorities say the plan took a new shape.

The plotters convinced the 56-year-old Penn State professor to come with them to a quarry near his home, police say, telling him they could harvest marijuana growing there. Bettig agreed, and the trio arrived at the Blackhawk Quarry soon after.

The quarry road sits high atop the rim of Penns Valley, under a dome of brittle-looking sky not far from the geographic center of Pennsylvania. The road passes clapboard barns, a mix of more modern split-level homes, and the site of a settler family's massacre by Lenni-Lenape Indians in 1778.

It's not known whether Bettig took notice of the scenery.

What is certain is that when he finally reached the quarry, he got out of the vehicle and minutes later plunged 80-feet off a cliff. Read More....

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