First of all, meet Homo naledi.
Discovered in South Africa, the hominid has legs and feet suited to walking, hands and shoulders for climbing, manipulative hands...and an ape-like brain.
But while Homo naledi had a small brain and probably wasn't as intelligent as us, the fact that 15 naledi skeletons have been found in a difficult to reach cave with no other fossils points to the fact that they may have been...put there deliberately.
In other words, the cave was a burial site, meaning Homo naledi had enough sentience to honor their dead. Of course, so do elephants...
Still, while Homo naledi isn't exactly the missing link, it's an important find...that only happened because two unusually slender spelunkers stumbled on the cave (most modern humans wouldn't have fit and the paleontologists who recovered the bones were all female - women being, of course, smaller than men).