Tennessee father arrested for allegedly murdering 5-year-old son with autism

A Tennessee father has been accused of killing his 5-year-old son with autism, who was previously reported missing by his parents, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said.

Joseph Ray Daniels, 28, was arrested in Tennessee on Saturday and charged with one count of criminal homicide, according to authorities. He has not yet entered a plea and is expected to be arraigned on Monday, authorities confirmed to PEOPLE.

The TBI said a joint investigation with the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office determined that the man “intentionally killed” his son, Joseph “Joe Clyde” Daniels, who had autism and was non-verbal.

The 5-year-old was first reported missing on Wednesday, after which the TBI issued an Endangered Child alert and began “an exhaustive search” for the boy near his home, according to the TBI.

Authorities said an investigation that opened Friday “determined that the child’s father, Joseph Daniels, intentionally killed his son sometime during the night of April 3-4, in their residence and then hid his son’s body.” The search for his body is ongoing, authorities told PEOPLE.

According to a tweet from the TBI, Joe was last seen on Tuesday “wearing pajamas with a skeleton print” at his family’s home.


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