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Ex-NFL player arrested for battery after his son is found 2 weeks after disappearance

Daniel Muir's 14-year-old son had last been seen on June 16, and police were called soon after to investigate allegations the father abused the teen.
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Posted at 6:32 PM, Jul 03, 2024

Former NFL player Daniel Muir and his wife Kristen were arrested Wednesday morning after police discovered their 14-year-old son, who had been missing since mid-June, safe in their home.

Bryson Muir had last been seen on June 16, just as Indiana State Police were called to investigate "allegations of domestic battery" involving him. Then Friday, police issued a Silver Alert for the teen after his parents backed out of an arrangement to bring him to a meeting with detectives, signaling an "unwillingness to cooperate."

Indiana State Police SWAT then obtained search and arrest warrants for the Muir's residence in Logansport, Indiana, and executed them at 6 a.m. Wednesday. This led to the discovery of Daniel, Kristen and Bryson in the home.

Bryson, who had a black eye in the photo police included in his Silver Alert, appeared "safe and well." He was released into Cass County Department of Child Services custody.

Daniel and Kristen were taken into custody "without incident" and both charged with a count of obstruction of justice, a Level 6 felony in Indiana carrying up to 2 1/2 years of jail time. Daniel was also charged with a count of domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana carrying up to a year in prison.

Related: Ex-NFL player's 14-year-old son still missing 2 weeks after police were alerted of abuse allegations

Before Wednesday, Bryson had last been seen leaving his grandmother Cheryl Wright's Ohio home with his mom in a white 2015 Chevrolet Suburban. Officers with Ohio's Garfield Heights Police Department pulled the vehicle over shortly after they left, and Bryson wasn't inside.

Wright told Scripps News Indianapolis that Bryson came to her home days earlier with a black eye and swollen face and said his father was responsible for the injuries. She said she contacted police about her concerns, leading to authorities pulling over the vehicle.

Court documents obtained by the station allegedly indicate Daniel admitted to giving Bryson the injuries in a recorded call with the teen's uncle in which the former football player said he "whooped [Bryson's] *ss like a grown man."

But the documents say Daniel told investigators Bryson was punched by an "unknown individual," leading them to bring the boy to Wright's home for a few days until the grandmother began "making decisions Kristen Muir did not agree with."

As authorities tried to investigate Bryson's disappearance, Daniel and Kristen were initially unresponsive. The couple later allowed police to visit their Logansport residence before becoming uncooperative Friday.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by Scripps News Indianapolis states Daniel admitted to taking Bryson to an undisclosed location because he knew authorities were looking for the boy and he wanted to protect his family. It also says the father provided Indiana State Police with a video of Bryson in an undisclosed wooded area saying, "My father did not punch me in the eye."

Daniel and Kristen were denied bond Wednesday due to being a flight risk, Cass County Judge Steven Kitts told Scripps News Indianapolis. They're due back on court for another hearing on July 16.

In a statement to Scripps News Indianapolis, the Muirs' attorney said:

I urge the community and media to avoid drawing premature conclusions. The Muir family has been improperly targeted and is not guilty of any abuse or unlawful activity. They are entitled to their day in court and due process.

Indiana State Police are searching the Muirs' Indiana residence, which is owned by the religious nonprofit Servant Leader's Foundation, as is the Chevrolet. Daniel is also listed as a pastor and "Goshen Community Head" on Straitway Truth Ministry's website.

Daniel played college football at Kent State before going undrafted in the 2007 NFL draft. He signed with the Green Bay Packers that year and went on to play or participate on the practice squad of multiple teams before leaving the game in 2014. Those teams included the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders.