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Possible new lead in search for Joe Clyde Daniels' body

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Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 19:53:53-04

DICKSON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Five-year-old Joe Clyde disappeared from his Dickson County home in 2018. This summer his father was convicted of murder.

But the little boy's body has never been found. Now, there's a possible jump start to the search.

A letter from the boy's father may provide some new leads. Joseph Daniels sent the letter to private investigator David Marshburn — who's been involved in other high-profile missing persons cases.

Now Marshburn is returning to Tennessee.

"If his remains are never found this is a story we will continue to hear about two or three decades from now," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

After Joe Clyde disappeared, a six-mile radius around his home was searched.

Marshburn — who works out of North Carolina — came later to look.

"You're looking for remains of a smaller child you don't come across those things every day," said Marshburn in 2018.

Not a trace of the boy was ever found.

There are no more organized searches, but now Marshburn is returning.

"I come in after the fact after everyone is done and it's gone cold," said Marshburn by phone this week.

He's coming with some new leads and his cadaver dog thanks in part to a letter Joseph Daniels sent him last month from prison.

"Letters back and forth... so I have had a conversation with Joseph," said Marshburn.

Daniels writes: "Dear David, as you know I am now convicted for a murder."

Daniels does not admit to killing or disposing of his son's body.

But he does go on to write: "Here are some roads I want searched. Mostly these are roads in the surrounding area."

"My plan for coming back is to expand the search out further," said Marshburn.

For now, he doesn't know if Daniels is leading him to his son's body, or if he's lying as he has so often in the past.

But Marshburn won't give up on the search.

"I'm always optimistic about people being found. I truly believe he'll be found," he said.

So, Marshburn has a list of roads and new places to search, hoping it leads to a body more than years after Joe Clyde disappeared.

Marshburn expects to return later this fall or winter — when the brush is down and the trees are bare.