Alert issued for missing 5-year-old with autism in Dickson

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An Endangered Child Alert has been issued for a 5-year-old boy with autism who went missing early Wednesday morning. 

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office reported Joseph “Joe Clyde” Daniels was last seen at his home on Garner’s Creek Road in Dickson Tuesday night.  

His parents discovered he was missing when they went to wake him up for school around 5:20 a.m. After searching their home and property for nearly an hour, they called 911 just before 6:30 a.m. to report the boy missing.  

In a 911 call, Daniels’ father said, “He must’ve unlocked the door. He got out.” He also noted his son didn’t take any stuffed animals or blankets from his room. 

Daniels was last seen wearing pajamas and is non-verbal. 

Earlier Wednesday a K-9 tracked his scent to a pond before the trail vanished. The pond was drained and nothing was found. 

There are several other small bodies of water near Daniels’ home. A helicopter, water crafts, divers and volunteers are all being used in the search. 

“There’s all the possibilities that something bad happened, but obviously we’re praying for nothing in that way, but being non-verbal, being not able to call out or ask for help or anything like that makes it even more important, drastic and time-sensitive,” family friend Lyndsay Estes said. 

Daniels is 4 feet tall and weighs around 65 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. 

“[He’s] just a great kid and very active and full of life. He’s just a ball of energy. He’s five and just loves to enjoy life. He’s just a 5-year-old – a normal 5-year-old, and autistic or not – he’s just a great kid and this doesn’t need to happen to anybody, especially any family like this,” Estes said. 

The search is expected to continue until dark Wednesday and will continue Thursday morning if needed. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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