Details of Disappearance Joe was last seen at his home on Garners Creek Road in Dickson, Tennessee on April 4, 2018. At 6:30 a.m. his father, Joseph Ray Daniels, called 911 and said his son was missing. He said he and his wife went to wake Joe up for school at 5:20 a.m. and found him gone, then searched their home and property for an hour before calling police. He speculated Joe had unlocked the door and wandered outside in the night.
On April 7, Joseph was charged with criminal homicide in Joe's presumed death. Authorities stated he had murdered his son intentionally and hid his body. On April 9, Joe's mother, Krystal Nicole Daniels, was charged with aggravated child neglect, criminal responsibility and filing a false report. The couple's other two children, age three and eight, were sent to live with relatives.
Photos of Joseph and Krystal are posted with this case summary. Joseph confessed that he beat the child to death, put his body in the trunk of his car and disposed of it in an unspecified remote area.
Krystal admitted she present when her son was killed. She said she heard a scream, then "it went silent" and she saw Joseph standing over Joe. Joe was lying on the floor, Joseph had his fists clenched. Joseph threatened to kill her if she told anyone what she had seen. She went back into the bedroom, then she heard a car door shut. She went back out of the bedroom, and Joe was gone.
Joseph has since recanted his murder confession. In a letter to his parents, he said he thought Joe was still alive, and speculated Krystal and an unidentified man were responsible for the boy's disappearance.
The couple is awaiting trial, which is expected to take place in early 2020. Joe's body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.
- Dickson County Sheriff's Office
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 8, 2019; casefile added.