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Missing principal and son found dead 

George Heckman

A missing elementary principal and his adult son were found dead in a vehicle in rural Montcalm County on Tuesday, June 20.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, their deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

George Heckman, 52, the principal at Pewamo Elementary, part of the Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools District, was reported missing Monday after missing a 7 p.m. board meeting. The district lies in both Clinton and Ionia Counties, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office led the missing person’s investigation.

Heckman and his son, Grant Heckman, 28, were found in a van on a dirt two-track off of Tow Road, near Boyer Road, in Bushnell Township. Michigan State Police East Lansing Crime Lab assisted members of the MSP Lakeview Post with processing the scene.

Police said that preliminary autopsy results revealed that both George and Grant Heckman died of gunshot wounds and evidence indicates that George Heckman’s wound was self-inflicted.

Grant Heckman reportedly had cerebral palsy and was wheelchair-bound.

Besides serving as principal at Pewamo Elementary, George Heckman had also been special education director there, and was vice-president of the board of Austin’s House, located in Westphalia, whose mission it was to “develop and provide secure long-term residential services responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities,” according to the group’s website.

Heckman was also due to become Superintendent of Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools in 10 days, when the current Superintendent leaves for Allendale Public Schools.

The case is still under investigation.

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