Kyle Clinkscales’s disappearance 45 years ago may finally find a resolution following the discovery of his car inside a creek in Chambers County, Alabama. Authorities state that they found his identity card, wallet, and suspected skeletal remains inside the vehicle. The hope among Kyle’s family is that the remains are his so that they can put to bed a 45-year mystery.
Sheriff James Woodruff stated that police will investigate how the skeletal remains wound up in the water. “Was he murdered and left there? Did her run off the road and wreck there? That’s something we hope to discover, but it’s been 45 years,” Woodruff said.
Kyle’s family is grateful that they can finally find peaceful closure
Following the discovery of Kyle’s car, the family released a statement to WRBL News 3, describing themselves as ‘deeply emotional.’ The statement reads:
“This community has been with John & Louise on this painful journey for four decades of mourning. Now we all can hopefully have a long-awaited peaceful closure. We are looking forward to the affirmation that the remains found are truly Kyle’s.”
The family asserted that the Go Fund Me campaign started by Cody Stephens to raise money for Kyle’s funeral is fake and that no one should donate to the account. “We do not need this as this has already been covered by John and Louise in hopes of someday getting closure,” the family’s statement reads. “It’s horrible that they would take advantage of people in such a sad time.”
Authorities contacted Kyle’s aunt, Martha Morrison, to help identify his Pinto Runabout after it was lifted from the creek. “It was a shock because after 45 years, you tend to know that it’s out there, but you don’t think about it every day,” Martha told CBS42. “It was just an emotional breakthrough.”
Martha echoed the family’s statement, saying that the discovery will bring closure. ‘I feel like our family can finally have some closure,” Martha said. “We can bury his remains and at least know that he is at peace there.”
Kyle’s parents always held out hope that Kyle would show up
Unfortunately, Kyle’s parents aren’t alive to witness the discovery of their son’s remains. John passed away in 2007, and Louise died in January 2021.
They last saw Kyle in late January 1976 as he headed to Moose Club bar for work. After work, he fired up his white Pinto to drive to Auburn University. He never got to Auburn.
John and Louise left a note at home for years hoping that Kyle would return. Kyle’s parents explored every possible theory that somehow explained Kyle’s disappearance.
“We just keep telling ourselves that he might just have wanted to make it easier on us by disappearing… rather than telling us he was dropping out, or staying in school when he felt he was being a burden on us,” John told The Montgomery Advertiser in 1978.
In 1981, John wrote a book titled Kyle’s Story: Friday Never Came. “The only explanation we can come up with that fits all unanswered questions is for an accident to have happened, somewhere, taking him and his car out of sight,” John wrote.
John’s conclusion seems plausible given that Kyle’s car remained out of sight for 45-years. Police discovered the vehicle after an Alabama trucker noticed a vehicle’s hatch peeking out from the water. Sheriff Sid Lockhart stated that he didn’t know why the rear door suddenly appeared.
Louise and John never found their son, but they pioneered a change in the manner authorities deal with missing person cases. The family’s statement reads:
“They went on to start an organization, ‘FIND ME INC,’ where they helped countless people all over the world find missing loved ones. They also worked closely with President Ronald Reagan to change laws concerning missing people. They were instrumental in changing the process for the better when a person is reported missing.”
The statement continues: “Our hope is that we can finish what John and Louise worked so long for simply knowing what happened to their son. While this is peaceful, it is also heartbreaking.”