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POLICE SAY MOM WHO REPORTED AUTISTIC SON MISSING KNEW HE WAS DEAD

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Dickson County, Tennessee authorities say a mother who reported her five-year-old son missing knew the boy’s father had killed him.

Joe Clyde Daniels was reported missing by his parents April 4, prompting response by local and state agencies and a massive search with law enforcement and volunteers around his Dickson County home. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had also issued an endangered child alert for the boy, who was reportedly non-verbal.

State investigators opened a criminal investigation two days later when they developed information that the father “intentionally killed” his son sometime during the night of April 3-4. Joseph Daniels was arrested Saturday and charged with criminal homicide.

According to court documents, Joseph Daniels admitted to striking the boy “repeatedly with a closed fist” until he died. The child suffered injuries to his upper torso, head and face.

Daniels then allegedly placed his body in the trunk of his car and disposed of it in a rural area. The body hasn’t yet been found.

The child’s mother is also in jail. Police say 27-year-old Krystal Daniels admitted she was home when Joseph Daniels allegedly killed the boy. The woman knew that Joseph Daniels abused and killed the boy and disposed of his body, but didn’t report it “despite multiple opportunities.”

Police say Krystal Daniels “took active steps to obfuscate the abuse and homicide” of the boy.

Krystal Daniels was booked into jail Monday night on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect. She was ordered held on $1 million bond.

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