PORT ORANGE, Fla. – The Port Orange Police Department continues to seek the public’s help in the case of a missing 70-year-old teacher.
Police on Monday held a news conference to address the case of Robert Heikka, who was last seen by neighbors in October leaving his Port Orange home.
Port Orange police said Heikka, who goes by the name Bob and has been with Volusia County Schools since 1989 and has taught at Creekside Middle School in Port Orange since 2002, was captured on surveillance video at an ATM near Canaveral Shores.
Multiple agencies including the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Brevard and Volusia sheriff’s office and the Port Orange Police Department continue searching for Heikka and his car, a 2012 white Chevy Impala with the license plate number KRZI78.
On Monday, the Port Orange Police Department held a press conference hoping that by releasing new details, it will turn into some leads. Investigators said Heikka was last seen near Cocoa in Cape Canaveral Shores on Oct. 24, two days before he disappeared making a bank transaction.
“He’d been to a bank, to an ATM, so that’s how we know he is down in that area,” said Detective Sgt. Steve Nagy.
Police said he appeared to be alone in the video and made a typical bank transaction. However, all banking activity has since stopped according to investigators. His cell phone last pinged off of I-4 in New Smyrna Beach on October 25th.
“We’ve checked everything and all those and continue to check more. So, like I said, every avenue that we can see of why he’s gone missing and where he possibly be,” Nagy said.
Authorities said it’s unclear why Heikka was in Brevard County and he does not have any family members in the area.
According to police, nothing was missing from Heikka’s home and no major withdrawals have been made from his bank accounts.
Heikka’s cellphone pinged in Volusia County on Oct. 25, police said.
Investigators said they have received numerous tips in the case, especially on the Port Orange police Facebook page.
Heikka teaches business education, including digital information technology and keyboarding. He is a white man, about 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 250 pounds. He has gray hair, blue eyes and wears prescription glasses.
Heikka has no history of any illnesses, police said.
It’s been six weeks since principal John Cash has seen his fellow colleague and friend. Cash said Heikka is a business education teacher at Creekside Middle School and he also worked the parent pick up line.
“He was very conscientious, and he would not disappear without telling anybody. So out of his character,” said Cash. “I saw him the Friday before the weekend right here in front of the school and he left, you know have a good weekend, see you on Monday. He intended to come back to work on Monday and he didn’t.”
Cash said he called and visited Heikka’s home on Oct. 26when he failed to show up for work and said it’s been a mystery ever since.
“The ironic part is that this was his last year, he was retiring. He retired last year and asked for a one-year extension. He wanted to do one more year, so this was his swan song. We’re just all devastated. We’re looking for answers on what happened to Bob, our colleague,” he said.
Cash said it’s been difficult for staff and students at the middle school. He said it’s important for people to remain vigilant and that no detail is too small that could help bring Heikka home.
“I miss him dearly. I’m hopeful. I mean we’re concerned obviously six weeks but we’re going to remain hopeful, but we are also realistic, and we want closure for family. We want closure for the school family, and we want closure for the city of Port Orange,” he said.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 386-248-1777.