Tennessee Father Arrested for Allegedly Murdering 5-Year-Old Son With Autism
The boy was previously reported missing by his parents, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said
A Tennessee father has been accused of killing his 5-year-old son with autism, who was previously reported missing by his parents, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said.
Joseph Ray Daniels, 28, was arrested in Tennessee on Saturday and charged with one count of criminal homicide, according to authorities. He has not yet entered a plea and is expected to be arraigned on Monday, authorities confirmed to PEOPLE.
The TBI said a joint investigation with the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office determined that the man “intentionally killed” his son, Joseph “Joe Clyde” Daniels, who had autism and was non-verbal.
The 5-year-old was first reported missing on Wednesday, after which the TBI issued an Endangered Child alert and began “an exhaustive search” for the boy near his home, according to the TBI.
Authorities said an investigation that opened Friday “determined that the child’s father, Joseph Daniels, intentionally killed his son sometime during the night of April 3-4, in their residence and then hid his son’s body.” The search for his body is ongoing, authorities told PEOPLE.
According to a tweet from the TBI, Joe was last seen on Tuesday “wearing pajamas with a skeleton print” at his family’s home.
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“Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that I have to inform you of a turn of events,” Jason Locke, deputy director of TBI, said at a press conference on Saturday, according to ABC News.
At the press conference, Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe told reporters that despite the arrest, the investigation is still ongoing, according to ABC.
“We’re not sure where the next turn will be or where the evidence will lead us,” Bledsoe added, according to the outlet.
After sharing an update on the case on Saturday, the TBI thanked all the volunteers who “gave time and resources this week to help search for Joe Clyde.”
“That work will continue by law enforcement today, so we might provide a small degree of closure for his family and friends,” they added alongside an image of the boy.
According to authorities, Joseph is currently being held at the Dickson County Jail on a $1 million bond.