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Lifestyle & Human Interest

45-Year-Old Cold Case Heats Up After Crucial Piece of Evidence Is Discovered Underwater

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Around 45 years ago, 22-year-old student Kyle Clinkscales of LaGrange, Georgia, made the familiar drive from his home to Auburn University.

He was driving his white, two-door 1974 Pinto Runabout on Jan. 27, 1976, when both he and the car disappeared. Since then, his disappearance has plagued investigators and family alike, especially as he was an only child, but the case went cold.

On Tuesday, his car was found.

An unnamed person spotted part of the back of a car in a creek that runs under County Road 83, and they alerted the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office.

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“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,” a post by the Troup County Sheriff’s Office reads. “Chambers County 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 in our criminal investigations division began to check for any records we may have had.

“After verifying information, it was found that the tag and VIN matched that of a 1974 Ford Pinto Runabout which was the same car that Kyle Clinkscales was last seen driving on the night of January 27th.”

The vehicle was then taken to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office to be examined by experts, and it was holding a few secrets.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office shared an update on its findings.

“On Wednesday morning a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation along with the assistance of our Criminal Investigations Division began the delicate process of going through Kyle Clinkscales car which was recovered on Tuesday,” the update read.

“The process is being concluded today and recovered from the vehicle were several personal effects which appear to had belonged to Kyle. Also recovered were approximately 50 different skeletal remains to include a partial skull bone which will all be sent to the GBI Crime Lab for further analysis.”

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According to CNN, at least two of those personal effects were what appeared to be Clinkscales’ wallet and ID card.

The location of the find was about three miles from what Clinkscales’ normal route would’ve been, according to Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart. It is unknown whether this location had been searched back when the student first went missing.

“For 45 years, we have searched for Kyle and his car,” Sheriff James Woodruff with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office said, according to CNN. “We have followed hundreds of leads and never really had anything substantial develop from those leads.

“Just the fact that we have hopefully found him and the car brings me a big sigh of relief.”

Sadly, neither of the young man’s parents will ever get to know how this story ends, as his father passed away in 2007 and his mother passed away earlier this year, still holding onto hope that her son would be found.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking