Remains found in car that belonged to Georgia student who disappeared 45 years ago

LAGRANGE, Ga. — In January 1976, Kyle Clinkscales disappeared after he left work in LaGrange to head back to Auburn University. Forty-five years later, officials have now uncovered some answers in the cold case.

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Clinkscales’ 1974 Ford Pinto was found in an Alabama creek. Investigators searched the car and confirmed Wednesday that they found bones they believed to be human.

The remains were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. An official identification has not been made.

“For 45 years, we have looked for this young man and his car. We drained lakes. We looked here and looked there and it always turned out nothing,” said Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff. “Then out of the blue, we got the car, his ID and hopefully his remains.”

The Chambers County, Alabama 911 center received a call from a man who believed there was a car in a Cusseta, Alabama creek. Deputies went to the creek and found a car around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.

After they pulled the car out, deputies saw a Troup County tag and reached out to the sheriff’s office there. The Troup County Sheriff’s Office ran the tag and confirmed it matched Clinkscales’ registration.

Deputies also found a wallet and credit cards belonging to Clinkscales along with the human remains.


The GBI is sifting through the car to see if anything else can be recovered. The discovery may solve the decades-old mystery, but also uncovers many more questions.

“How many bones they find? Do they find a skull? Something we can take to the crime lab and determine if there was foul play? Was he murdered and left there? Or did he run off the road and wreck there? Those are things we hope to discover,” Woodruff said.

The Clinkscales family always thought they would get answers. But his father died in 2007 and his mother died earlier this year at the age of 92, never knowing what happened to their son.

“It was always her hope that he would come home. Always our hope that we would find him for her. Just fact that we found him and his can brings me a big sigh of relief,” the sheriff said.

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There have been many twists and turns in the case over the years. Officials named a lead suspect who died in 2001 but always claimed he had nothing to do with Clinkscales’ death.

But two others were arrested and convicted in 2005 for helping him conceal the body. The two told the sheriff’s office that Kyle was shot, but in concrete in a 55 gallon drum and buried in a pond.

No remains and no car were found until now.

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