Authorities say the remains of an Auburn University student who disappeared in 1976 have been identified, ending a mystery that has plagued investigators for nearly five decades.
Kyle Clinkscales, 22, was returning from LaGrange, Georgia, to school on the night of January 27, 1976, when he disappeared. According to authorities, he was last seen at the Moose Club in LaGrange with a 1974 Ford Pinto.
For years, authorities drained the lakes in search of him and the car. Authorities said a break in the case came on December 7, 2021, when someone spotted a white Ford Pinto in a creek in Cuseta, Alabama and called 911.
Inside the car was a wallet, ID, credit cards and bones.
The skeletal remains were turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to run DNA analysis.
On Sunday, the officials announced the match in the case.
“The Troup County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Troup County Coroner’s Office that those remains were positively identified as those of Kyle Clinkscales,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The manner and cause of death are unknown.
“Everyone was always wondering if he was going to show up somewhere,” Lauren Griffen, a friend of Clinkscales, told Atlanta’s NBC affiliate WXIA.
She said that they had met about a year before she went missing, that everyone in town knew her. “His personality was just charming. He was a sweet guy. Most of the time he was very quiet. But he was very kind to everyone,” Griffen said.
Clinkscales’ mother died last January, according to the news station, and his father died in 2007.