Missing 5-year-old autistic boy was beaten to death by father as Tennessee police find blood, hair on shovel likely used for murder
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: As part of new evidence uncovered by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in the case of a man charged with the murder of his 5-year-old autistic son, authorities found the accused's blood on a shovel believed to be the murder weapon.
District Attorney General Ray Crouch confirmed Tuesday that the blood discovered on the shovel belonged to Joseph Ray Daniels, 29, who was indicted for the first-degree murder of his son Joe Clyde Daniels after the child went missing in April 2018.
Although Crouch did not specify exactly where the shovel was found, as the investigation into the case was still ongoing, he did mention that a strand of hair was found on it which had been sent to a private laboratory for mitochondrial DNA testing, as the TBI did not conduct that type of testing.
According to court documents, the victim went missing on April 4, 2018, and an endangered child alert was issued for him after his parents reported his disappearance to the police, WSMV reported.
At the time, Joseph reportedly told the Dickson County Sheriff’s deputies that his son had left the home barefooted dressed in his pajamas at some point during the night. However, the TBI searched his home a couple of days after the incident took place and found enough evidence of criminal misconduct to charge the father with murder.
After being questioned by the police, Joseph admitted to repeatedly striking his son—who could not speak—in the body, upper torso, head and face with a closed fist at their Garner Creek Road home till he died.
He then placed the victim's body in the trunk of his car and disposed of it in a remote, rural area.
After revealing the details, Joseph recanted his confession and refused to say where he hid the five-year-old's body.
Instead, he tried to blame the death of his child on his wife, Krystal Daniels.
According to TBI, Krystal was charged with one count of aggravated child neglect or endangerment because she did not report the abuse and homicide of her son despite having multiple opportunities to do so and instead, took “active steps” to “obfuscate” her husband's crimes.
She also allegedly knew that Joseph had disposed of Joe Clyde's body.