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A Tennessee man accused of killing his missing 5-year-old son returned to court Thursday, though the boy’s body, believed by authorities to be dead, remains missing three years later.
Joseph Daniels, now 30, told an emergency health services worker on April 4, 2018 that his non-verbal autistic son, Joseph “Baby Joe” Clyde, had run away from his home in rural county of Dickson, United States, Tennessee, according to WKRN. .
Joseph Daniels returns to court when the motions hearing resumes. He can also watch live on Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV.
“My son has run away. We can’t find him, “Daniels said during the call.” He must have opened the door. He came out. ”
Search teams of police and volunteers ransacked the area
Search teams of police and volunteers ransacked the area when Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe described the physical and mental strain in the community that the boy had not been recovered. But shocking news came just four days later when it emerged that Daniels confessed to beating his son to death and removing his body and was charged with felony murder.
Daniels has since reversed the confession and his defense attorney, Jake Lockert, said his client was forced to do so, WTVF reported. When Daniels returned to a Dickson County courtroom Thursday, Judge David Wolfe will consider several preliminary issues and is expected this week to decide whether those confessions can be used in the June 1 trial.
Joseph Daniels and the boy’s mother
At an earlier hearing last month, prosecutors and the defense decided to split the cases of Joseph Daniels and the boy’s mother, 29-year-old Krystal Nicole Daniels. Prosecutors accused the woman of helping cover up the murder of her son. She was arrested on April 9, 2018, and charged with aggravated neglect or vulnerability to children.
Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial told WKRN in April about an interview that coincided with the third anniversary of Baby Joe’s disappearance. He recalled how crowds gathered in front of the district court in 2018, with posters calling for justice for the baby, when Baby Joe’s parents were brought into the building shortly after his disappearance.
“Dad knows where. Mom too, ”read a poster. “You were there the first and the last day.”
“It is frustrating not being able to find him, but the tragedy that has happened has really affected the soul of the community,” Rial told the outlet last month. “It was very painful for everyone.”
The boy is believed to be dead and the search for his remains, which has been carried out regularly in recent years, has been left empty. The most recent investigation was conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the backyard of the family’s residence in May 2020, WKRN reported.
Last month, the defense announced a new key witness in the case: an unidentified woman who lives in the area. This woman claims that her 5-year-old daughter was playing outside a few days after the news of Baby Joe’s disappearance and her encounter with a child.
“We found a woman whose baby arrived in a day or two to say there was a baby outside in dirty pajamas,” Lockert said, according to WTVF.
She says her daughter asked him for the boy’s name and he answered “5,” which defense attorneys believe is important given that Baby Joe has autism. Baby Joe’s grandfather had previously said that his grandson sometimes responded with his age when asked his name.