Law enforcement and hundreds of volunteers spent days searching for a 5-year-old boy reported missing in Tennessee last week, but his parents already knew he was dead, police say. Joseph Daniels, 28, who on April 4 told authorities his son slipped out of the family's home in Dickson, admitted Friday to intentionally killing Joe Clyde Daniels, who had autism and was nonverbal, report CNN and WSMV. During questioning Monday, the boy's mother, 27-year-old Krystal Daniels, admitted to witnessing abuse that resulted in Joe's death at the family's home, police say. According to an affidavit, Joseph Daniels repeatedly hit Joe in the head, face, upper torso, and body with a closed fist, reports WSMV.
Police say Joseph Daniels then put his son's body in the trunk of a car, drove it to a rural area, and disposed of it. Krystal Daniels, arrested Monday, also admitted to knowing that her husband disposed of Joe's body, which has yet to be found, authorities say, adding she ignored many earlier opportunities to relay this information to police. "Krystal Daniels failed to report the abuse and resulting homicide" and "took active steps to obfuscate the abuse and homicide," an affidavit reads, per WSMV. She's charged with aggravated child neglect or endangerment, while her husband is charged with criminal homicide. Both are held on $1 million bonds. (Read more Tennessee stories.)