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Joel and his family were in the group of survivors being lead by Cindy. Joel had the crazy idea that the Crossed could be stopped by using salt.
When the group was attacked by them, Amy broke his ankle and tried to give her daughter to Joel. But he was so convinced that salt could stop the Crossed, that he draw a circle of salt around his family. Obviously, he was unbelievable wrong, and the Crossed brutally murdered his daughter, raped his wife, and also raped him.
Although the family are all presumably killed in the first issue, we encounter them again through the story arc via flashbacks.