Father Charged for Killing Missing Son, 5, Back in Court as Body Is Still Not Found after 3 Years

Junie Sihlangu
May 23, 2021
10:00 A.M.

Three years ago, a man was arrested by the police and charged with killing his young son. This month, the parent was back in court for motions to be heard before his murder trial begins.


On April 4, 2018, Joe Clyde Daniels, 5, disappeared from his home in Dickson County, Tennessee. Police were never able to find his body, but they presumed him dead, and his father confessed to killing him.

Joseph Daniels initially confessed to murdering his son, but he later recanted his confession. Joseph was then charged with Joe’s death, and this month he was back in court again in Charlotte, Tennessee.

An American policeman walks in the street with a police car visible in the background | Photo: Shutterstock/ALDECA studio

An American policeman walks in the street with a police car visible in the background | Photo: Shutterstock/ALDECA studio

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, Joseph, 30, was brought into the Dickson County courtroom ahead of his trial. He was in court to hear several motions just weeks before his murder trial begins.

Concerning his recanted confession, Joseph’s lawyer, Jake Lockert, said his client had been coerced to give the admission. Judge David Wolfe was expected to decide what to do about the confession.


Wolfe was meant to say whether the admission would be allowed at the trial, but this never happened on Thursday. The defense, in turn, argued that the police involved in the investigation had acted with bias.

They felt that authorities missed out on a potential lead because of this. A woman said her daughter came across a young boy who could’ve been Joe when the police were searching for the missing child.


The woman recalled how her daughter mentioned seeing a boy walking in muddy pajamas down the road. He allegedly spoke to the woman’s daughter, who was the same age as Joe, briefly before walking on.

Since it’s been so long, the mother said her daughter couldn’t recall the details of the interaction properly. At the same time, the police told the woman they would search where her daughter saw the boy.


However, the woman claimed the police never bothered to search the area. Wolfe noted in his judgment that he didn’t believe authorities acted with bias as they were already searching for Joe in the area.

On June 1, 2021, Joseph will finally get to stand trial. The accused’s wife, Krystal Daniels, 29, was also charged concerning their child’s death – she’s charged with aggravated child neglect.


Krystal was also accused of helping her husband to cover up the crime. At one point during his confession three years back, Joseph willingly offered to take police to where the child’s body was hidden.

The court also played a recorded phone conversation that took place in jail between Joseph and his father, Joe Clyde Daniels Jr. The accused was heard blaming his wife for their son’s death, saying she’d used a pillow.

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