Mystery From 1976 Finally Solved

( After he went missing 47 years ago, the remains of a young man discovered in December 2021 have finally been identified.

Auburn University student Kyle Clinkscales, 22, was returning home from LaGrange, Georgia on January 27, 1976, when he disappeared. According to police, Clinkscales and his 1974 Ford Pinto were last seen in LaGrange at the Moose Club.

In their search for the missing Clinkscales, authorities drained lakes hoping to find him and his vehicle.

Then, on December 7, 2021, police got their first break after someone called 911 to report finding a white Ford Pinto in a creek in Cusseta, Alabama. A search of the vehicle turned up skeletal remains along with a wallet, ID, and credit cards.

Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff told reporters at the time the vehicle was found that Kyle had been an only child whose parents never stopped hoping for his return.

Both of Clinkscales parents have since died. His father passed away in 2007 while his mother died in 2021, just 11 months before his car and skeletal remains were found.

Sheriff Woodruff said Kyle’s mother hoped that one day her son would return home, adding that while his office had hoped that Kyle would be found before she died, it brought him “a big sigh of relief” just to find his car.

The remains were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to undergo DNA analysis. And last Sunday, authorities announced that a match was found.

According to a statement from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, the county coroner’s office had reported that the remains were “positively identified” as Kyle Clinkscales. However, the cause and manner of Kyle’s death are not known.

Lauren Griffin, a friend of Clinkscales, told WXIA in Atlanta that she met Kyle a year before he disappeared. According to Griffin, Clinkscales was a “charming” and “sweet guy” who, while “very quiet,” was “very kind to everyone.”

Griffin told WXIA that everyone always wondered if Kyle “was going to show up somewhere.”