Case against parents based on confession with no body in alleged murder of Joe Clyde


DICKSON, Tenn. (WZTV) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said unidentified blood has been found in the alleged murder of Joe Clyde Daniels – but without a body, the case is largely based on a confession and statement.

On Monday, a judge bound both cases against Joseph Daniels and his wife Krystal to a grand jury.

Joseph is charged with murder, although 5-year-old Joe Clyde's body still hasn't been found, despite another targeted search over the weekend. Krystal is charged with aggravated child neglect or endangerment.

The Daniels were met with silent protesters outside the Dickson Courthouse.

Here is what FOX 17 News found out in court during the preliminary hearing.

Joseph Daniels, charged with murder

The TBI revealed that the agency has a video recording of Joseph Daniels' confession.

Per the confession, Joe Clyde’s 8-year-old brother went into his parents’ bedroom to tell them baby Joe had peed on the floor. Joseph told TBI Joe Clyde started laughing, “so I beat him.”

Joe Clyde apparently ran outside near the road before Joseph retrieved his son and beat him again.

"I beat him some more. That’s when I killed Baby Joe. I beat him with a closed fist and put his body in the trunk of my car,” Joseph told the TBI.

Joseph said he took his wife Krystal’s cellphone and used it as a flashlight. The TBI said records show activity on Krystal’s cellphone that night.

Joseph told the TBI that he had placed Joe’s dead body in a pond. The father has given at least six locations of Joe Clyde’s body, all of which were checked and have come up empty.

At the end of another confession that was not recorded, Joseph was arrested and booked into Dickson County Jail. He was wearing a shirt that said “Superdad” when he was booked.

The TBI says it has a witness who was driving down Garner’s Creek Road on the night of Joe Clyde’s murder who saw the boy in the pajamas that the 5-year-old was reported to be wearing when he went missing.

Also, the TBI said Joseph Daniels told them he has anxiety issues and takes medication. A TBI agent also heard he has “rage issues,” but the agent said Joseph has never been angry toward him and always appeared lucid. Joseph’s public defender said he takes lithium and other medications.

Also in court, it was learned that Joseph had a black belt in martial arts. The TBI said Joseph’s story continued to change and escalated when they spoke, going from first spanking Joe Clyde, to hitting him hard and eventually confessing to beating him to death with closed fists.

The Evidence – Blood, cellphones, home items

The TBI said it found unidentified blood on Joseph Daniels’ clothes. That blood is still being processed through DNA testing.

The TBI said the blood was found on Joseph’s hoodie, on his pants and both shoes. Joseph told the TBI he has already washed the shirt he was wearing the night of the killing: a black T-shirt with an alien in a Santa hat with the word “Believe” on it.

Joseph’s defense tried to argue that he had given blood the day before.

Both Daniels’ cellphones were collected. The TBI said it is working with cellphone providers, Facebook and Google to obtain more information.

Both public defenders pointed to a lack of physical evidence in the case.

After asking about physical evidence in the case, a TBI agent said, “In this situation, I would love more than anything to point to the body of Joe Clyde Daniels, unfortunately, I can’t do that.”

Numerous items were collected from the house, including a piece of the flooring, carpet, butcher knives and more.

A red Impala, said to be the vehicle that transported Joe Clyde’s dead body, was seized. The TBI said blood was found in the center console. A silver Impala was also taken.

Krystal Daniels, charged with aggravated child neglect or endangerment

District Attorney Ray Crouch said Krystal Daniels went to bed after seeing her son’s unconscious body on the floor and committed a felony at that moment.

According to her statement to police, Krystal heard a "loud, painful" scream that suddenly just stopped -- and it was silence. She came out of her room, saw Joe Clyde on the ground, not moving, with Joseph standing over him with his fist clenched. She never got close enough to check on him and went back to bed.

The state argued Krystal “walked hand in hand” with her husband, spreading lies about Joe Clyde’s disappearance.

The TBI also has Facebook conversations between her and a man in Kansas. She wrote of her plans to move to Kansas, where her mother lives, just weeks before Joe Clyde’s murder.

Krystal's attorney tried to have her case thrown out and her bond reduced -- but a judge denied both requests.

Aunt Joyce

TBI said another person in the house at the time of Joe Clyde’s murder was “Aunt Joyce.”

Joyce told the TBI that Joseph and Krystal had gotten into angry fights. Recently, they fought about Krystal’s alleged infidelity.

The TBI said Joyce provided information on past acts of Krystal and mentioned an incident in which there was a dog that Krystal couldn’t have, but Joyce did have a dog in the house. Joyce claimed in revenge, Krystal took her dog by its hind legs and threw it against a wall, killing it.

Joseph Daniels and Bell Daniels

Joseph Daniels and Bell Daniels are Joe Clyde’s grandparents. They are the father and mother-in-law of Joseph, Joe Clyde’s father. They own the home in Dickson and scene of the alleged murder.

The TBI said records show the grandparents weren’t home the night of Joe Clyde’s alleged murder.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off