UPDATE / Remains Positively ID’d as Missing Man from 1976

Remains discovered more than a year ago in an east Alabama creek – have now been positively identified as an Auburn University student who disappeared 47 years ago.

The Troup County Coroner’s Office, on Sunday, said they were notified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that the remains were those of Kyle Clinkscales, who was 22 when he vanished on January 27th, 1976.

The remains were positively identified through DNA testing; coroner’s officials state the cause and manner of Clinkscales’ death have not been determined.

The investigation is ongoing by the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

Clinkscales disappeared when he left LaGrange, Georgia to go back to Auburn, where he was a junior.  He reportedly left the Moose Club in his hometown of LaGrange – where he was bartender – about 11:00pm, to drive back to Auburn.  He never arrived on campus.

On Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, deputies with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office were notified of a what appeared to be a car submerged in a creek off of County Road 83, approximately one mile from County Road 388, in LaFayette.  Once they arrived on scene, they recovered the car from the water, and it appeared to be an older model Ford passenger car with a 1976 Georgia tag with a Troup County decal.

Chambers County officials contacted the Troup County Sheriff’s Office for assistance in trying to run the tag information.

The Troup County tag office was contacted, and investigators began to check for any records they may have had.

The learned the tag and VIN matched that of a 1974 Ford Pinto Runabout which was the same car that Clinkscales was last seen driving on the night of January 27th.

Former Troup County Sheriff Donny Turner told AL.com in 2021 that that he long ago made sure DNA samples were taken from Clinkscales’ parents, Louise and John Clinkscales in case they were dead by the time a body was found. He said they also obtained his dental records early on “in case this day ever came.”

Both of Clinkscales’ parents died before the remains were found.

Turner said he thinks he knows what happened to Clinkscales. “I have no doubt in mind he was killed,” he said.


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