Joe Clyde's dad beat him to death for urinating on the floor, source says

Joseph Daniels and son Joe Clyde Daniels. FOX 17 News Nashville

DICKSON, Tenn. (WZTV) - FOX 17 News has exclusively learned the stated motive for the alleged murder of young Joe Clyde Daniels.

The 5-year-old kindergarten student was reported missing by his father last month, prompting a massive search. Yet, days later Joseph Daniels was charged with murder after reportedly confessing to killing his son and hiding the body.

Joe Clyde’s body still hasn’t been found – despite hundreds of volunteers participating in a coordinated search over the weekend.

A source extremely close to the case has told FOX 17 News that Joseph Daniels told officers that he beat his son to death after his son urinated on the floor.

This small detail could be critical in proving a case where there is still no body.

The source said the father “consistently” made statements that he beat Joe Clyde to death on a coffee table after the boy with autism, who was also non-verbal, urinated on the floor.

This piece is critical since Tennessee state law prohibits a conviction based on a confession alone.

Attorney David Raybin wrote Tennessee Criminal Code, and he will tell, despite the confession, the state will not have an easy road convicting Joseph Daniels and his wife Krystal Daniels.

And while these large manhunts are certainly aimed to give this little boy a proper burial, there is a very unemotional reason as well -- this case needs that evidence.

“So they have two problems in this case," Raybin said. "Can the confession prove the murder, sure, but they have to have separate evidence to prove the validity of the confession and separate evidence to prove the child was murdered."

Finding urine on the floor could support the confession, but finding the body could prove the child was murdered and that this was not an accident.

Meanwhile, there is still the case of Joe Clyde’s mom Krsytal Daniels. She is charged with aggravated child neglect or endangerment after an affidavit said she was present the night Joseph beat their son to death and tried to help cover up the crime.

According to state law, under these circumstances and only these circumstances, Krystal can be used against her husband.

Raybin believes that the state will put together a web of guilt including little pieces of evidence, odd behavior and delayed 911 calls that all add up to go with the confession.

The Daniels’ hearing was pushed back to June 4 at 9 a.m. At their last court appearance, both Daniels were met with protesters demanding to know, "where is baby Joe?"

For now, the Daniels are still sitting behind bars in Dickson County where they requested a photo of Joe Clyde and were given a search flyer for their inmate quarters.

There are no future planned searches at this time. The lack of results has not discouraged the community.

FOX 17 News will be at the June 4 appearance and carry live coverage. Stick with us for the latest on this story.

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