Georgia authorities find human remains that may belong to college student missing for 45 years

Authorities in Georgia on Wednesday announced the discovery of remains they believe belong to a college student who vanished in 1976 while driving to Auburn University, a report said.

Fox 5 Atlanta reported that officials in the state were informed that a submerged car was located in a creek near a road in Cusseta, Alabama. The car, a 1974 Pinto, was pulled from the water. Investigators believe they found bones and identification belonging to Kyle Wade Clinkscales, the missing student, who was 22 years old when he vanished on Jan. 27, 1976.

The events leading to Clinkscales’ disappearance have been a mystery, and authorities hope that the few remains could provide some new information. 

Authorities have previously said Clinkscales was killed. In 2005, they arrested two people in connection with his disappearance after they said his parents received a call from a man who said that when he was 7 years old he witnessed the disposal of their son’s body and it was covered with concrete in a barrel and dumped into a pond, according to news reports. The two people were accused of making false statements.

Kyle Wade Clinkscales was 22 years old when he disappeared on Jan. 27, 1976.
Troup County Sheriff’s Office

James Woodruff, the sheriff in Troup County, Georgia, told reporters that the search for Clinkscales has been extensive.

“We’ve drained lakes, and we’ve looked here and looked there and ran this theory down and that theory down and, it’s always turned out nothing,” he said. 

Deputies told Fox 5 that they found what appeared to be a Ford car with a 1976 Georgia tag and a Troup County decal. Investigators said the tag and VIN matched the car Clinkscales was last seen driving before he disappeared.

Woodruff said he’d like to see what state investigators recover from the car. 

“Was he murdered and left there? Did he run off the road and wreck there? That’s something we hope to discover, but it’s been 45 years,” he said.

Clinkscales’ parents have both died since his disappearance. His father died in 2007 and his mother died earlier this year. Woodruff said it has been his hope that they would find him before his mother’s death. 

“It was always her hope that he would come home,” he said.

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