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Elementary school principal, son found dead in van near Carson City

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BUSHNELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools canceled all activities Tuesday after a principal and his son were found dead.

Principal George Heckman, 52, and his son Grant Heckman, 28, of Westphalia were reported missing Monday night.  After a search, police found the father and son dead in a van on a dirt two-track off of Tow Road near Boyer Road in Bushnell Township.

"It is heartbreaking, George was an outstanding person. He dedicated his life to the community of Pewamo and Westphalia, this area," said Pewamo-Westphalia Superintendent Garth Cooper.

"He served 20 plus years as the elementary principal, he grew up in Pewamo, he lives in Westphalia, and it's just not only going to be a tragedy for his family but it is going to leave a hole in the hearts of a lot of people."

George Heckman was the elementary principal and was set to become the district's superintendent in 10 days.

"It is very disappointing for the district because he would have been an outstanding superintendent," Cooper told FOX 17.

According to Michigan State Police, autopsies are schedule for Tuesday morning.

A crisis team will be available to the community beginning at 9 a.m.  There will also be transportation between the elementary and high school for students and staff members needing counseling.

Heckman leaves behind a wife, another son and a daughter.

"A faithful supporter of the community he loved, George was a dedicated husband, a loving father and passionate educator," said a statement released by Pewamo-Westphalia School District.

Stay with FOX 17 for updates.

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