LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – A major breakthrough has been made in a cold case from nearly 50 years ago.

On January 27, 1976, 22-year-old Kyle Clinkscales left the Moose Club, a bar he worked at in his hometown of LaGrange. He intended to return to Auburn University where he was a student at the time yet, he never arrived. He vanished, leaving officials and his parents searching for answers.

In Dec. 2021, officials found Clinkscales’ car, a white two-door 1974 Pinto Runabout, in Chambers County Ala. Inside of the car were human remains and some personal belongings that were unidentifiable on the scene. He remains were sent in to the GBI and then the FBI for an investigation.

Officials confirmed on Feb. 19, 2023 that the remains found inside of Clinkscales’ car were indeed his.

“We never believed in the beginning that these were not Kyle’s remains due to the fact of some personal belongings that were found in the car,” said Sgt. Stewart Smith, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.

The GBI is still investigating Clinkscales’ cause of death however, Sgt. Stewart Smith said officials hope this breakthrough can give some closure to Clinkscales’ family and friends.

“The remains are still in the custody of the GBI because they are going to try to determine a cause of death if they can,” said Sgt. Smith.

News 3 has been told that Clinkscales’ parents remained devoted to finding their son, however, they have since passed away. His next-of-kin will be receiving his remains once all investigations have been completed.