NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A private investigator – who's worked on numerous missing persons cases, including the Joe Clyde Daniels disappearance – believes the boy could have been hit by a car or was possibly abducted.
The five-year-old Joe Clyde disappeared from his Dickson County home on April 4, 2018. His father, Joseph, is charged with homicide in the case, while his mother, Krystal, is charged with aggravated neglect.
The child’s body has never been found, and there is little or no physical evidence. A gag order was issued earlier this year, so no one associated with the case can talk publicly about it.
However, David Marshburn, a private investigator out of North Carolina, is not bound by the gag order. He met with Joe Clyde’s grandparents last year and used his blood hounds to search for the boy’s remains. He also closely followed the case just last week in Cheatham County where nine-year-old Jorden Gorman was found safe two days after he disappeared from his Ashland City home.
Marshburn says that highlights just how easy it is for a small child to walk away and vanish. However, authorities continue to maintain that the parents were involved in Joe Clyde’s death.
But Marshburn says he now believes there’s evidence that will surface that Joe Clyde was either hit by a car and taken away or abducted the night he disappeared.
"That is a possibility, but the greatest possibility is him getting hit by a vehicle," Marshburn said.
In the absence of a body, Marshburn says that is the most plausible explanation, and with time, other suspects will surface. For now, it's only a theory.
"How many people have been out looking for Joe Clyde soon as he went missing," asks Marshburn. "And, what have we found? Absolutely nothing."
At one point, Marshburn believed the parents were involved. After all, the father confessed to beating the child to death before recanting. Defense attorneys have argued there's no evidence to back the confession -- and no blood found on any item in the house or anywhere on the property.
However, prosecutors do say they have evidence to convict the parents.
The Daniels case was supposed to go to trial in spring 2021, but due to COVID-19, that won’t happen. The Tennessee Supreme Court has shut down all jury trials because of the pandemic. This means the Joe Clyde Daniels trial will likely be pushed back until at least next summer – more than three years after he went missing.
Nick Beres will have much more on this story tonight on NewsChannel 5 at 6 p.m.
Previous stories: Joe Clyde Daniels case
- Lawyers argue over admissibility of evidence in Joe Clyde case
- Prosecutors, defense agree to sever Daniels' cases into two trials
- Attorneys use taped interrogation in hearing to argue Joseph Daniels' confession was coerced
- Joseph Daniels' recanted confession played in court
- TBI serves search warrant in Joe Clyde Daniels case, searches brush around home
- Video evidence shows someone at Joe Clyde Daniels' home the night 5-year-old disappeared
- Krystal Daniels recants statement about what happened to son, Joe Clyde
- Jailhouse phone calls could be key to prosecution of Joe Clyde Daniels homicide case
- Letter from Joe Clyde's Father: "If we can get Krystal to confess...we can win this case."