A Tennessee mother was arrested Monday after admitting she watched her husband beat their 5-year-old autistic son to death and hide his body — and she never called the police.
Krystal Daniels, 27, faces child abuse charges days after her husband Joseph Ray Daniels, 28, confessed to killing their son Joe Clyde Daniels, who remains missing.
According to a police affidavit obtained by Oxygen, Joseph allegedly struck the boy’s body, head and face with a closed fist repeatedly at the family’s home in Dickson April 4, as Krystal watched. After beating the boy to death, Joseph allegedly put his son's body in the trunk of his car and drove to a remote rural area to dispose of the remains. Joseph reported the boy missing the same day, telling police he had wandered from their home in his pajamas. But during a police interview two days later, he admitted to killing him.
A former high school classmate described Joseph as having anger problems, even as a teen.
“He was quiet most of the time, but it was like an on-and-off switch,” Heaven Seyler told The Tennessean. “He had a very short fuse. There was incidents of him getting so angry he would get kicked out of class.”
Joseph, a former Taekwondo instructor, is being held on $1 million bond and faces a charge of criminal homicide. Krystal faces one count of aggravated child neglect or endangerment and is also being held on $1 million bond. Neither parent has a criminal record or reported incidents with the Department of Child Services, according to documents obtained by WZTV in Nashville.
The victim's two brothers are now in Department of Children's Services custody.
The parents are both scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a joint hearing. Search crews and hundreds of volunteers continue to scour for the boy's body.
[Photos: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.