Authorities Identify Remains Of Auburn University Student Who Disappeared In 1976

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After pulling a car out of an Alabama creek in December 2021, authorities have identified the remains found within as those of an Auburn University student who disappeared in 1976.

Kyle Wade Clinkscales, 22, was identified by police more than 45 years after his disappearance when his 1974 Ford Pinto was recovered from a creek in Chambers County on Dec. 7, 2021, a release from the Troup County Sheriff’s office stated.

The recovered vehicle was transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where it was processed by investigators from both the sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Within the vehicle, they found Clinkscales‘ personal effects along with skeletal remains. Those remains were collected and sent to the GBI Crime Lab for identification and examination, the release stated. (RELATED: Police Identify Remains Of Girl Who Went Missing In 1969)

The Troup County Coroner’s office notified the sheriff’s office on Feb. 19 the remains were positively identified as Kyle Clinkscales, solving, at least part of a decades long mystery.

Clinkscales disappeared on Jan. 27, 1976, after leaving the Moose Club, a bar he worked at in his hometown of LaGrange, Georgia, WHNT News reported. Clicksales was supposed to be making the 35-mile trek back to Auburn University where he was enrolled as a junior, but he never made it back, the outlet stated.

In the years after his disappearance, Clinkscales’ parents, John and Louise, never stopped looking for their son, even writing a book about his missing person’s case, according to CBS 42.

“We generally measure our lives as ‘before’ and ‘after’ the disappearance,” John wrote in the 1981 book, “Kyle’s Story: Friday Never Came,” the outlet reported.

For John and Louise, Clinkscales’ disappearance remained a mystery throughout the remainder of their lives. John passed away in 2007, while Louise died in Jan. 2021.

Martha Morrison, Clinkscales’ aunt, is grateful for the resolution the positive identification has brought to the surviving members of the family. “I am so grateful for closure in this and that he can finally rest in peace between his mom and dad,” Morrison told CBS 42.

Investigators are still trying to determine a cause of death.