Scary New Details About The Missing 5-Year-Old Autistic Boy Whose Father Was Just Arrested For His Murder

Photo: TBI
New Details About The Missing Autistic Boy And Why His Father Was Just Arrested For Murder
Entertainment And News

His father confessed to murder, but they still haven't found Joe Clyde Daniels' body.

The father of a missing 5-year-old Tennessee boy was arrested and charged with murder.

Joe Clyde Daniels, who is autistic and non-verbal, was reported missing April 4 by his father, Joseph Ray Daniels, which sparked a massive search for the child. He told the 911 dispatcher that Joe must have wandered off.

Joe’s father, 28, was arrested Saturday and charged with one count of criminal homicide, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reports.

"During the course of the investigation, it was determined the child's father, Joseph Daniels, intentionally killed his son in his residence and then hid his body," TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke said.

He has since allegedly admitted to beating his son to death, reports The Tennessean.


Joseph allegedly beat the 5-year-old in the head, upper body, and face until he died Wednesday. After Joe died, he loaded his body into the trunk of a car and disposed of the boy’s remains in a “remote area,” Joseph allegedly told police.

An endangered child alert was issued Wednesday, according to Fox 17.

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The three-day-long search turned into a criminal investigation on Friday that led to the boy’s father’s arrest. Investigators have not revealed what prompted the search to become criminal.

The TBI led the search, accompanied by the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office and many local volunteers.

Nicole Cederoth, 25, who had been a neighbor of the Daniels family for about a year, told The Tennessean that she was not surprised Joe’s father had murdered him.

“I wanted to be wrong,” she said. “I wanted to so bad.”

Although the search for the body of the boy with blonde hair and blue eyes continues, volunteers have been called off.

"Driving the roads, we've been out on foot ... doing everything we can ... to try and find this little boy," search volunteer Amanda Curtis told CNN. "We searched and searched, and unfortunately it comes up to a bad ending."

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Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe wanted to let everyone involved in the search for the missing boy know their help is appreciated.

“I want to make sure everyone knows in Dickson County what a blessing we’ve had with the outpouring of volunteers and the community coming out and rallying around us,” Bledsoe said. “I know everyone’s hearts are breaking, just like ours, with the information we’ve received now.”

Police are looking into possible accomplices, including the boy’s mother.

“People have reached out with concerns there may be others involved,” Bledsoe said. “I have confidence [TBI investigators] are looking at every avenue.”

As this is an ongoing investigation, authorities cannot discuss specifics of the case.

“We can’t speak to specifics regarding witnesses, evidence, or potential additional charges at this time,” TBI spokeswoman Susan Niland said.

Joe had been reported missing before but he had always been found, The Tennessean reports.

Joe’s siblings, 8 and 3, have been placed in the care of family members, a Department of Children’s Services spokesman said.

Joseph does not appear to have a criminal record. The father was held on a $1 million bond in the Dickson County jail.

He is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

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