Joe Daniels, Tennessee Man Punched Autistic 5-Year-Old Son To Death


A Tennessee man accused of beating his autistic 5-year-old son to death and then illegally disposing off the body, admitted to his crimes in front of the authorities last week, according to court documents.

An affidavit stated Joseph Ray Daniels, 29, admitted to repeatedly assaulting his son, Joseph “Joe Clyde” Daniels, “in the body, upper torso, head and face with closed fist until his son was deceased,” Newsweek reported.

It was not clear if Daniels admitted to the allegation of transporting his son’s body in the trunk of his car and disposing it in a rural area.

Joe was reported missing by his parents April 4. At the time, Daniels told the 911 dispatcher he had gone to his son’s room at 5:30 a.m. and could not find him there. He confirmed Joe, who had autism, could not be located anywhere inside the house, and added the child might have unlocked the front door and walked out of the home.

The search for Joe was complicated by the fact that he was non-verbal. After a three-day-long search and subsequent failure to locate him, Jason Locke, deputy director at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, announced Saturday they had arrested the father after he confessed to murdering his son.

“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,” Locke said.

The police also placed Krystal Daniels, 27, Joe’s mother under arrest, who was present at home when the incident occurred, court records stated.

According to ABC News, Krystal said she “failed to report the abuse and resulting homicide … while she was aware of the injury inflicted to Joe Clyde Daniels at the hands of Joseph Daniels and was aware that Joseph Daniels disposed” of the body, the court document said. She also allegedly tried to destroy crucial evidence linked to the abuse and homicide.

Krystal was charged with one count of aggravated child neglect or endangerment.

Joe’s parents are each being held at $1 million bond in Dickson County Jail, Tennessee. While Daniels is set to appear in court April 13, his wife’s appearance is scheduled for April 16.

Meanwhile, the search for the 5-year-old’s body is still ongoing.

On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at the Friendship Baptist Church in Dickson County to mourn Joe’s death. The churchgoers observed five minutes of silence during mass to commemorate the five years the boy spent on Earth. People also brought stuffed animals, candles, flowers and cards, which were left outside the church building.

“Baby Joe has so much love, if only he had had the chance to know that when he was here on Earth,” the church said in a Facebook post Sunday night. “Heaven is a little sweeter with our angel up there singing.”

Arrested A Tennessee man recently admitted to beating his autistic 5-year-old son to death and then disposing off his body. In this representational image, Tucson Police Officer Angel Ramirez arrests a man for trespassing in Arizona, May 29, 2010. Photo: Getty Images/ Scott Olson



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