STATE COLLEGE -- Monday was the first day of classes at Penn State University, an exciting time for many, but this year, the start of the year was bittersweet.
"It's definitely a big tonal shift compared to the mood that we've really experienced so far,” said freshman Ben Hartleb of Erie.
"Although it's completely unrelated to me, it just goes to show that yeah, bad things happen in the real world, so it's kind of a reality check,” agreed freshman Ben Houch of Germany.
Longtime Penn State associate professor Ronald Bettig is gone. Police say he was killed last week. George Ishler Jr. and Danelle Geier are charged with pushing him to his death in a quarry in Centre County.
Investigators say the two known drug users were motivated by money.
"Hearing this kind of shakes the community, like now, you don't know who to trust really,” said Penn State student Ankur Choudhray of State College.
"It just doesn't make sense. It's just stupid, yeah,” agreed fellow State College native Jennifer Tokarek.
Bettig was an associate professor in the College of Communications since 1988. He wasn’t scheduled to teach this fall. University officials say he was away on leave.
"I think it's definitely strange. It's strange. It's not something that many of us here are used to. I don't know. I, myself, am not used to an undertone,” said freshman student Emma Frost of Erie.
Those who knew him say Bettig was intensely private, but known for helping those in need. Police say Geier was living with Bettig at the time of his death.