Man Allegedly Killed Autistic Five-Year-Old Son, Called 911, And Reported Him Missing

Dickson County Jail

A man allegedly killed his autistic five-year-old son, hid his body, and told authorities he was missing. Kansas City is reporting that Joseph Ray Daniels was arrested on Saturday and charged with criminal homicide over his son’s disappearance.

The Tennessee man and the boy’s mother had reported Joe Clyde Daniels missing on Wednesday morning. The parents told police they discovered Joe was missing when they wanted to get him ready for school.

Joe Clyde had wandered off the family property in Dickson, 25 miles southwest of Nashville, several times before. Daniels said that he usually would find his son within shouting distance of their residence.

This led investigators to initially believe that it was a missing person’s case.

Joseph Ray Daniels allegedly misled investigators by telling them he discovered his son was missing on Wednesday around 7:00 a.m.

The 28-year-old man revealed that he called 911 and told the dispatcher that his non-verbal son was missing, adding that he must have unlatched the door and wandered off when the rest of the family was still sleeping.

Authorities had launched a massive manhunt for the five-year-old boy, searching wooded areas, fields, and ponds within the area.

Over 250 volunteers joined the search for Joe Daniels and complemented the sizable search efforts of search dogs in the field, boats on nearby waterways, and helicopters in the air.


A passerby claimed that he spotted Joe Daniels 100 yards from his house on Wednesday. The search for the autistic boy intensified when a footprint was also seen, near a creek about three miles from the family’s property.

Investigators and volunteers had searched for the blonde-haired boy for three days, hoping that he would be found.

However, the Tennessean is reporting that the massive search turned into a criminal investigation on Friday.

Following the expansive search, investigators are now saying that Daniels intentionally killed his son either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and disposed of his body.

Authorities are saying that the 28-year-old man reportedly admitted to the killing of his autistic son. However, he refused to divulge where he buried the little boy’s remains.


Investigators have refused to provide information on how the case took a surprising turn. However, USA Today is reporting that District Attorney General Ray Crouch’s insistence for the case to be seen as a criminal matter eventually led to Daniel’s arrest and alleged confession.

Investigators have vowed to keep searching for Joe Clyde’s body, per a report by the Daily Mail.

Joseph Ray Daniels was booked into the Dickson County Jail on Saturday with his bond pegged at $1 million.