DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRKN) – It’s a case that rocked Dickson County and still has many in the community asking, Where is Baby Joe? The 5-year-old went missing 4 years ago on April 4th.
Since then, Joe Clyde Daniel’s father, Joseph Daniels, was found guilty of felony murder, among other charges, relating to his son’s death and was sentenced to 51 years behind bars. Baby Joe’s mother, Krystal, entered a no contest plea for her role and received a 15-year sentence.
Yet, questions remain about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the little boy whose smile captured the community.
“A lot of areas have been covered, and yet here we still are, four years later, still looking for that piece of the puzzle that we so desperately need and want,” said David Rader the Director of EquuSearch Midwest.
Rader was one of the first to lead search teams covering a 10-mile radius through Dickson County hunting for Baby Joe.
“There was nothing about this case that was easy,” said Rader recalling the grueling search in the heat, with ticks, snakes, and extreme elements looking for the child who stood only 4 feet tall.
“There are so many nooks and crannies to hide something that could probably fit in, a two-by-two box,” Rader said.
To this day he still thinks about where the child could be. “I think he’s a little bit further than what we’re giving credit for,” Rader said. “I’m not going to get into specifics, but I think, I personally think he’s in the next county over.”
If called upon again, Rader wouldn’t hesitate to search.
“In a heartbeat,” he continued, “I can be packed in a half hour and be on the road.”
Local members of the EquuSearch team grapple with the same suspicions as Rader.
“My mom lives right down the road from Baby Joe, and it still pulls at our heartstrings,” said Twila Sisco the Search Coordinator for EquuSearch.
She said it’s likely Baby Joe isn’t alive, but like so many in her community, she holds out hope.
“But sometimes I’ve told Dave and talked to my other teammates, I feel like he’s out there still alive. That could be just, you know, the disbelief in my mind of thinking that somebody could actually hurt an innocent child like that,” Sisco said.
In the end, they both agree that there are only two people who can answer everyone’s questions.
“I hope that Joseph and Krystal see this,” Sisco said, “And I hope in their heart, they can say, you know what? We’ve got our punishment. We’re here. We’re not going anywhere. Why don’t we just go ahead and, and put the information out there for law enforcement, EquuSearch, or any other search team or anybody to be able to find this baby and get closure?”
The Dickson County Sheriff’s Department is also holding out hope in finding Baby Joe.
Sheriff Tim Eads released this statement:
Today marks 4 years that Joe Clyde Daniels has been missing. Our department, along with the people in this county, will never forget “Baby Joe” and we still hope to one day bring him home, but until that day we will continue following any leads in hopes of bringing some closure to this tragedy.”Sheriff Eads