Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on July 10, 2024
Australian Executive Colin Bettles Found Unconscious in San Francisco, Police Investigating IncidentSource: Google Street View

San Francisco police are investigating an incident involving an Australian executive who was found with severe injuries and left unconscious in an SF street. Colin Bettles, CEO of Grain Producers Australia, was reported missing and later discovered in a coma at a local hospital, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The circumstances under which Bettles, who had been in San Francisco on a work trip, sustained his injuries are unclear. He had dropped off his bags at a hotel before grabbing pizza with colleagues on Thursday evening. Later, Bettles was reportedly found in the street and had to quickly be taken to the hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma without any identification on him, as shared by The Age. It took four days before his family was able to locate him.

Family members suspect that Bettles was assaulted on his way back to the hotel, sustaining a fractured eye socket and head trauma, with his wallet and phone taken. Despite these assertions, the San Francisco Police Department has stated they have no report of an attack concerning Bettles and have urged anyone with information to come forward. Evan Sernoffsky, a spokesperson for the SFPD, implored, as per the San Francisco Chronicle, "If people have information, they should contact SFPD."

Bettles, known for his years in media and communications before transitioning to the agricultural sector, was eventually identified and located with the assistance of Australian officials. Nationals MP Michael McCormack, a long-standing friend and former employer of Bettles, helped to raise the alarm with government officials urgently.

Bettles' partner, Dr. Sue Acton, is expected to travel to the U.S. to join him as he begins his months-long recovery. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that consular officials supported Bettles during his hospitalization. The Grain Producers Association has expressed its support for Bettles' family and is cooperating with authorities.