Joseph Ray Daniels had admitted to killing his autistic child, but the body has never been found. Now, police have confirmed the discovery of Daniels' blood on a shovel that may or may not have been used in the murder or disposal of the body.
Prosecutors say that Daniels, 29, has confessed during questioning to beating his 5-year-old son, Joe Clyde Daniels, to death in April 2018. Daniels is believed to have disposed of the corpse in a nearby wooded area. District Attorney General Ray Crouch has now confirmed that they have detected forensic evidence on a shovel that was discovered in an unspecified location.
DNA tests also confirmed that none of the blood on the shovel belonged to Joe Clyde, according to News Channel 5 of Nashville, Tennessee.
Hair was also discovered on the shovel and has since been sent to a DNA lab for testing.
Daniels had been arrested and charged with first degree murder shortly after the April 4, 2018 disappearance of the non-verbal boy, according to WSMV-TV of Nashville, Tennessee. Daniels admitted at the time to repeatedly striking Joe in the body, upper torso, head and face with a closed fist. An investigation of the Daniels home on April 6 led to Daniels' arrest.
Krystal Daniels, Joe Clyde’s mother, was charged with one count of aggravated child neglect or endangerment. Krystal is believed to have known of the killing and disposal of the body, although she did not report it or the abuse that had proceeded it. She is believed to have taken “active steps” to “obfuscate” the crimes.
Investigators a week earlier had discovered blood on pants that belonged to Joseph — but that blood also came from Joseph and not Joe Clyde, according to WVLT of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Joseph Daniels' trial is scheduled to begin in August 2020.
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