LaFayette Sun News

Cold Case ID confirmation causes strong reaction

By John Brice
In the aftermath of the Troup County Coroner’s Office February 19th, 2023 press release announcing the positive identification of remains recovered by Chambers County Sheriff deputies in December of 2021 there has been extensive media coverage of the forensic findings as well as widespread online reactions throughout social media. Dubbed an “Official News Release” the coroner stated “On January 27, 1976, Kyle Wade Clinkscales and his 1974 Pinto Runabout were last seen at the Moose Club in Lagrange, Georgia.
Despite exhaustive investigational efforts over the following 46 years, neither Mr. Clinkscales nor his vehicle were located. On December 8, 2021 Troup County Sheriff’s Office was notified by Chambers County Sheriff’s Office that a 1974 Pinto Runabout, belonging to Mr. Clinkscales, had been located submerged in a body of water off of County 83 in Chambers County, Alabama. The vehicle was transported to Troup County at which point investigators located skeletal remains.”
Continuing on with the release, it further stated “The remains were turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations for DNA analysis. On February 19, 2023, the Troup County Coroner’s office was notified that the remains have been positively identified as Kyle Wade Clinkscales.” It went on to conclude “At this time the cause and manner of death have not yet been determined and the case remains under investigation by the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.” before being signed by the Troup County Coroner, Erin M. Hackley.
National news outlets such as USA Today, NBC News, CBS News and Fox 5 in Atlanta all covered the announcement with articles posted to their official websites.
Reactions from commenters on related Facebook posts were often a bittersweet mix of relief and sadness at the tragic circumstances of the announcement which were captured in the words of one observer who remarked “Oh how sad I’ve read about this before. I’m glad he was found how tragic his parents never got closure. RIP”.
Confusion abounded in certain comments such as “The article states that they know he was killed ! Murdered? Hate his parents never knew” or doubts about the overall situation in the form of “No way possible that car was in that creek the entire time… I’ve traveled that road my entire life”.
Other commenters expressed disbelief in regards to the investigative process “His remains were found Dec. 7, 2021 and they just got DNA results back YESTERDAY??”. There were also questions aired publicly as to whether this was an accident or if foul play was involved “Yes, there’s a whole back story about where he worked and what he knew about from hearing things at his place of employment (if I remember right). Pretty sure there is a good idea of who killed him, but, again if I remember right, that person may already be dead. Such a sad story. It haunted all of us from the day we learned about it. Never should have happened.”

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