An anonymous letter sent to the grandparents of a 5-year-old autistic Tennesee boy claiming the child was giving away but still living in the state is likely a hoax, according to Dixon County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe.
“I believe this is a staged hoax. We do have the letter and it is being investigated,” Bledsoe told Local 2 News in Memphis. “I have confidence the investigation will reveal the correct response to the content of the letter.”
As the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) continues to investigate the letter, a spokesperson added that the focus of the investigation has not changed. Joe Clyde’s parents, Joseph Ray Daniels and Krystal Daniels are currently behind bars in connection with the boy’s presumed death.
The little boy’s grandfather, Joe Daniels, thinks his grandson is alive and hopes that the letter turns out to be authentic. Joe Clyde was presumed dead after his father reportedly told police that he beat the child with his fists for urinating on the floor and laughing about it. The dad claimed he buried the boy in a remote area, but authorities have yet to find Joe Clyde’s remains.
“I hope it is real,” the grandfather said. “This is about Baby Joe and I want him back home……I still believe he’s alive and I think more now that we got this letter, that he is alive. Someone has him and they just need to come forward and bring him home.”
The letter also claimed Joe Clyde was living in Tennessee, potentially in the Jackson area.
“I believe Krystal got Joe’s clothes, packed them into a bag… and left Joe on the side of the road,” the letter read. “If we could get Krystal to confess what really happened…with this case. I know it’s a bizarre case.”
The grandparents turned the letter over to TBI shortly after receiving it. The agency stated they will continue to investigate the legitimacy of the letter until they determine the truth.
“As with any case we investigate, we pursue any evidence presented to us that is relevant to the case. We are working to determine the legitimacy of the letter sent to the grandparents of Joe Clyde Daniels, but a this time have no reason to believe this will change the focus of the investigation.”
The letter contained the names of other alleged people involved but did not mention the boy’s father.
According to investigators, Krystal Daniels was frustrated with raising a son with autism. She was reportedly upset she had to give away the family dog because of Joe Clyde, the station reports.
During a 911 call on April 4, Joseph Daniels calmly told a dispatch operator that his son disappeared from their Dickson home off of Garners Creek Road. Initially, police had no reason to believe Daniels harmed the little boy but after two days of intense searching, TBI announced that Daniels admitted that he killed his son.
WKRN obtained a copy of the 911 call, in which Daniels indicated that his son must have unlocked a door in the home and walked away. He claimed he went to the little boy’s room at 5:30 a.m. on April 4, and noticed he wasn’t there. Daniels never asked for help while talking to the 911 dispatcher and the only information that he volunteered without being asked was that his boy was autistic and disappeared from their home.
According to the affidavit of complaint released by Dickson County authorities, Krystal Daniels admitted she was in her residence on April 4 when the child’s father beat him to death. Further, she’s accused of failing to report the crime and taking steps to conceal the little boy’s abuse and death.
Krystal Nicole Daniels is charged with felony “Aggravated Child Neglect or Endangerment” while Joseph Daniels is charged with homicide. Both suspects are behind bars on a $1 million bail each.
Check back with CrimeOnline as we continue to provide updates.
[Feature Photo: Joe Clyde Daniels and Joseph Daniels/TBI]