Kyle Wade Clinkscales

1 2 AP
Left and Center: Clinkscales, circa 1976;
Right: Age-progression to age 61 (circa 2015)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 27, 1976 from LaGrange, Georgia
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 2, 1953
  • Age: 22 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'11, 156 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Clinkscales has previously fractured his ring finger. He may have a mustache.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A denim or suede jacket, a multi-colored blue shirt with a white tie, and denim pants.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Clinkscales was last seen at the Moose Club in LaGrange, Georgia, at 11:00 p.m. on January 27, 1976. He left the club, where he tended bar two nights a week, intending to go 35 miles away to Auburn University, where he was a junior. He never arrived there and has never been heard from again. Clinkscales's vehicle, a white two-door 1974 Pinto Runabout with the Georgia license plate number CEF-717 and the VIN number 4T11Y207954, has never been recovered. He was reported missing by his parents on February 3, a week later.

    It is uncharacteristic of Clinkscales to leave without warning; he was close to his parents and called him regularly or left notes telling of his whereabouts. They have not heard from him since his disappearance. His father initially believed he left of his own accord. Clinkscales had not been a good student at college. He initially enrolled at Auburn University after graduating high school, but made poor grades there and transferred to LaGrange University, where he continued to perform badly before dropping out of college altogether. He later re-enrolled at Auburn and changed his major from education to business administration, losing several credits in the process. Clinkscales stated he planned to do better academically, but his first term's grades were not up to his expectations. His father theorized he left and tried to start life anew under a different identity as a result of his poor college performance.

    In 1987, a man in Troup County, Georgia found Clinkscales's Exxon credit card in the Flat Shoal Creek area. Investigators searched the vicinity where the card was found but turned up no other evidence. In 2005, a man called Clinkscales's parents and told them that 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. Seaches 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 has been 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 had knowledge 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 afterwards.

    Clinkscales's body has never been found. His father wrote a book about his disappearance and other missing persons cases, entitled Kyle's Story: Friday Never Came. Foul play is suspected in his disappearance due to the circumstances involved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Troup County Sheriff's Department
    706-883-1746

    OR
    706-883-1616

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    Source Information
    NamUs
    California Attorney General's Office
    NewsLibrary
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    For the Lost
    WXIA News
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Kyle's Story, Friday Never Came: the Search for Missing People
    by John Dixon Clinkscales
    The Doe Network
    The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
    The Southern Illinoisan

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    Updated 11 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 21, 2016; details of disappearance updated.

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