50 skeletal pieces and personal items recovered from Clinkscales’ Pinto

News

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – On Wednesday morning a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation along with the assistance of the Troup County Criminal Investigations Division began the delicate process of going through Kyle Clinkscales’ car which was recovered on Tuesday.

“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,” said Sgt. Stewart Smith.

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office is lead investigative agency in this matter.

On January 27, 1976, 22-year-old Kyle Clinkscales left the Moose Club, a bar he worked at in his hometown of LaGrange, Georgia. Kyle planned to make the thirty-five-mile drive to Auburn University in Alabama, a junior. He never arrived. 

This week the Troup County Sheriff’s Office confirms Kyle’s white two-door 1974 Pinto Runabout with Georgia tag CEF-717 has been located in a Chambers County creek off CR 83. 

Kyle’s father wrote a book about his disappearance, titled “Kyle’s Story: Friday Never Came.” He also established a non-profit missing person organization, “Find Me Inc.” Both Kyle’s mother and father passed away before the recovery.

According to previous news stories in 2005, a man called Clinkscales’s parents and told them in 1976, when he was seven years old, he had witnessed the disposal of Clinkscales’s body. The body, the informant said, had been covered with concrete, stuffed in a barrel, and dumped in a pond on private property.

Searches of the pond turned up no sign of the barrel or any remains, but the tipster’s information led to the arrest of Jimmy Earl Jones and, later, Jeanne Pawlak Johnson. Jones was charged with concealing a death, hindering the apprehension of a criminal, and two counts of making false statements. Johnson was charged with concealing a death, making false statements, and obstructing justice. Neither has been charged with Clinkscales’s murder; investigators believe the actual killer was a man named Ray Hyde.

Hyde died in 2001. He had owned a salvage yard, and police dug it up twice looking for Clinkscales’s missing Pinto but never found it. Investigators do not know why Clinkscales was killed, but they believe he may have known about Hyde’s criminal activities, which involved car theft.

Johnson was at Hyde’s home the night Clinkscales vanished, though she later denied this. Authorities believe Jones did not participate in the murder but did help dispose of the body. They think Hyde moved the remains from the pond to an unknown location sometime afterward.

Wednesday, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office says questions regarding previous arrests, the trial, and sentence should be referred to the Troup County District Attorney’s Office. News 3 has a call into the district attorney and is awaiting more information.

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