Joe Clyde's mom present while dad beat him to death, tried to cover up murder: affidavit

Joe Clyde Daniels' father and mother are both facing charges stemming from his death. (TBI)

DICKSON, Tenn. (WZTV) - The mother of a five-year-old beaten to death at the hands of his father was present during the crime and didn't report the abuse to police, a newly released document says.

Krystal Daniels, the mother of Joe Clyde Daniels, is jailed on an aggravated child neglect or endangerment charge in Dickson County Jail.

An arrest affidavit for Krystal Daniels says that she was home on April 4 when Joe Clyde Daniels' dad, Joseph Ray Daniels, beat him to death. She also knew that Joe Clyde Daniels' body had "been disposed of" and didn't report that to police either.

Joe Clyde Daniels was reported missing last Tuesday. His father Joseph Ray Daniels was arrested for his murder on Saturday.

Court documents released Monday detail Joe Clyde Daniels' violent death. According to an affidavit, Joseph Ray Daniels confessed to police that he had beaten his non-verbal, autistic son to death at their Dickson home on April 4.

Joseph Ray Daniels told police that he "struck his son ... repeatedly in the body, upper torso, head and face with closed fist until his son was deceased," the affidavit said.

Joe Clyde Daniels died at his residence along Garners Creek Road. Joseph Ray Daniels told authorities he put the kindergartner's body in the trunk of his car and "disposed" of his son's body in a remote, rural area. As of Tuesday morning, Joe Clyde Daniels' body still hadn't been found after authorities searched through the weekend.

After the murder, Joe Clyde Daniels' dad reported him missing to 911 dispatchers. Krystal Daniel's arrest affidavit also says she took steps to obstruct the abuse and murder of her son.

Heavy search efforts for Joe Clyde Daniels began Wednesday and continued for three days. Hundreds of volunteers and local and state agencies assisted in the search.

Joe Clyde Daniels' body still hasn't been found. His school is making plans to permanently honor the kindergarten student with apple trees.

The disturbing new details in Joe Clyde Daniels’ death still have the community of Dickson in shock.

"I don't know how any parent could do that to their child," Melissa Jordan said. “ No matter how mad they ever make you, you never want to hurt them like that. You want to protect them, not hurt them so it's really sad."

Official records obtained by Fox 17 News indicated both parents had no previous criminal record or interactions with the Department of Child Services in the last three years. Despite that, some Dickson neighbors said there had been warning signs exhibited by the family.

“People had seen signs and not noticed, just didn’t pay attention," Jordan said. "You know how sometimes things will happen, you’ll be like, wow, that boy’s acting a little different when he’s around his dad, and it’s just sad."

Dickson resident Rita Underwood said she even noticed a change in atmosphere at a local grocery store over the weekend.

“Normally it’s really loud,” Underwood said. “Children, people talking, and it was very quiet. It’s like everybody was sad, solemn.”

“Everybody said he just smiled all the time and was a really nice child, so it’s just really sad to see that a parent would actually do that,” Jordan said.

Both Jordan and Underwood said they hope police find Joe's body soon.

Krystal Daniels is being held on a $1 million bond. Her first court appearance is slated for Friday, April 13, along with her husband.

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