DICKSON COUNTY, Tennessee -- The search for the body of Joe Clyde Daniels continued in Dickson County on Monday as the boy’s father, Joseph Ray Daniels, prepares to face charges of criminal homicide.
Court documents released Monday morning indicate that Joseph Ray Daniels told investigators he beat the boy to death, put Joe Clyde's body in the trunk of his car and disposed of the remains in a "remote area."
Daniels was being held on a $1 million bond in the Dickson County jail.
The father allegedly admitted that on or around last Wednesday he struck Joe Clyde Daniels repeatedly in the the body, upper torso, head and face with a closed fist until his son was dead at their residence on Garners Creek Road in Dickson, the arrest report states.
Daniels first court date is scheduled at 9 a.m., Friday, according to his booking document, though that is tentative according to the Dickson County court personnel. Daniels was booked under a suicide watch, the booking document states.
A 911 call from Daniels on Wednesday morning touched off a massive search for Joe Clyde, who was autistic and non-verbal. Daniels told a dispatcher his son must have unlocked the door and wandered off.
Here’s the latest on the case.
Police said Joseph Ray Daniels confessed to the murder Saturday
After hundreds of volunteers spent days searching an area near the family's Dickson County home, the case took a turn Friday when District Attorney General Ray Crouch instructed the TBI to pursue the case as a criminal matter. That eventually led to Daniels’ confession and arrest.
Daniels, a 28-year-old employee of an information technology company, did not appear to have a criminal history,
"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," TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke said.
Joe Clyde Daniels' body has still not been found
The volunteers have been called off but investigators are continuing to search for the boy's remains. Court documents released Monday indicate that Joseph Ray Daniels said he dumped his son's body in a "remote area."
Police had been called to Daniel's home before
Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said officers had been called to the family’s home in the past after the boy was reported missing. But each time previously, the boy with blond hair and bright blue eyes was found.
Joe Clyde's two siblings are in the custody of relatives
Joe Clyde had two siblings, ages 8 and 3, who have been placed with relatives, a Department of Children’s Services spokesman said. DCS officials suggested the children stay with relatives and at least one parent agreed, spokesman Rob Johnson said.
Outpouring of support continues in Dickson County
At least three vigils were held on Sunday night to remember the slain child, including one at Friendship Baptist Church in Dickson, which had served as a command center for the hundreds of volunteers who were searching for the boy last week.
“Joe Daniels started something that we can continue in our community,” said Pastor John Dudley, referring to the community coming together to worship.