According to Florida investigators, the corpse and a car belonging to Robert Heikka, a teacher at Creekside Middle School who vanished in October 2020, were discovered in a canal in Volusia County.
According to authorities in Florida, a body was discovered inside a middle school teacher’s automobile that was discovered in a nearby canal. The instructor went missing in 2020.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO) stated that Robert Heikka’s car was found in the water at Pioneer Trail in Volusia County, between State Roads 44 and 415.
PHOTO: VOLUSIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE
According to the VSO, the car’s location was discovered after the canal’s water levels “recently dropped significantly.”
According to the Port Orange Police Department (POPD), police have communicated with the family of the missing instructor. The corpse discovered inside the vehicle has not yet been formally recognized.
When PEOPLE asked for comment, the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately answer.
According to Port Orange police, Heikka was last seen at his residence on October 25, 2020. At the time of his disappearance, he was 70 years old.
A POPD spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel in December 2020 that the Florida man was reported missing after failing to attend work at Creekside Middle School on October 26, 2020.
The VSO and POPD claim that the Sunshine State Sonar Search Team and Recon Dive Recovery assisted in finding the lost car.
According to NBC affiliate WESH, Sunshine State Sonar employee Mike Sullivan claimed that when he and others were strolling close to the canal, he noticed “what looked like the roof of the vehicle sticking from the water.”
The teacher’s car, a 2012 white Chevrolet Impala, was previously identified by police.
The submerged Impala is visible in images from the incident near New Smyrna Beach that were published by the VSO and appear to include a portion of a number plate that matches the tag number previously given by the department.
“We thank all involved for bringing some much-needed closure to Mr. Heikka’s family,” the POPD said on Saturday. “Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.”
The Sentinel and CBS station WKMG-TV report that Heikka began working for the Volusia County School District in 1989. He has taught at Port Orange’s Creekside Middle School since 2002.
According to WESH, Heikka’s automobile was discovered in a canal near where the late teacher had previously resided.
“It just feels so good to give these families answers,” Sullivan told the outlet. “I would never say it’s closure because there is never closure for a family losing someone like this. It’s answers to what happened to their loved one.”
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