Creekside Middle School principal hopeful about finding missing teacher

Bob Heikka has been teaching at Creekside Middle School for more than a decade. The teacher, who was set to retire this year,  disappeared weeks ago.

Heikka's boss, Principal John Cash, tells FOX 35 News he was the one who went to his house the day Heikka didn’t show up at school. Cash says since Heikka went missing, things at Creekside Middle School in Port Orange haven’t been the same.

“We just want to find out what happened to Bob. His family deserves closure. The school, the community deserve closure,” said Cash.

Heikka, 70, is a digital information technology teacher at the school. No one has seen him in more than two weeks.

“This is a lovable man who does our parent pickup in the morning so all the parents and kids see him every day. Kind person, kind soul. We’re two weeks in so it concerns us greatly.”

When he didn’t show up to work on October 26, Cash went to his house to check on him.

“We know that he lived alone so we weren’t sure what happened. It was unusual for him not to come to work so of course, your mind goes to the worst case. You think maybe he had a medical emergency in the house.”

Neither Heikka nor his car was in the house. His children and neighbors don’t know what happened to him. Cash says Heikka’s six classes of students are taking it in stride.

“They understood it and accept it. They’re middle school-aged children so they get it but for the faculty, it’s been a struggle missing Bob every day.”

A minister came to school this week to meet with the faculty. Cash says some of the teachers have been driving around State Road 44 and Interstate 4, where Heikka’s cell phone last pinged. So far, they’ve had no luck. 

“I know you hear those stories all the time, out of character this and that. This truly would not be his character. He would not not show up to work one day and leave the kids unattended, not in his character whatsoever,” said Cash.

Heikka is believed to be driving a 2012 white Chevrolet Impala. He’s about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs 250 pounds.

If you see him or know where he may be, call Port Orange Police.