A mysterious letter sent to the grandparents of a missing Tennessee boy was apparently written by the child’s father, currently in jail awaiting trial for his son’s death, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Monday.
The Tennessean reports that Joseph Ray Daniel’s DNA was found on an and envelope and a letter written to his parents earlier this month, claiming that his son, 5-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels, was given away and likely living somewhere in Tennessee. According to authorities, the letter read that Joe Clyde’s mother, Krystal Daniels, was responsible for the boy’s disappearance.
Joseph Daniels reportedly admitted that he wrote the letter after authorities confronted him. Yet, according to his lawyer, Jake Lockert, Joseph sent the letter to his parents and signed it with his initials, “J.D.”
The attorney said Joseph didn’t intend to write an anonymous letter and the grandparents read the initials on letter as “J.J.” Confused, the grandparents thought they had been sent an anonymous letter since there was no return address on the envelope.
Lockert stated that his client likely sent the letter while at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute for an evaluation earlier this month. Joseph is now back at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, where he awaits trial in connection with Joe Clyde’s presumed death.
The letter claimed that Krystal Daniels purposely left her little boy on the side of the road. It also contained the names of other alleged people involved but did not mention the boy’s father.
“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.”
According to investigators, Krystal was frustrated with raising a son with autism. She was reportedly upset she had to give away the family dog because of Joe Clyde.
Joe Clyde Daniels’ Disappearance
During a 911 call on April 4, Joseph 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 Joseph harmed the little boy but after two days of intense searching, TBI announced that Joseph 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]