NEW VINEYARD – A local woman who died in June 2021 had injuries inconsistent with a vehicle collision, an expert working for the Maine State Police said in a recently-released arrest warrant affidavit for the woman’s husband. That man, Wilfred Daggett Jr., 43 of New Vineyard, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 10 after state police attempted to arrest him for his wife’s murder.
Collette Daggett, 43 of New Vineyard, died on June 1, 2021. Wilfred Daggett contacted the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office that morning to request medical assistance. Collette Daggett was found lying on the shore of the pond by first responders and declared deceased at the scene. Wilfred Daggett was transported to Franklin Memorial Hospital by NorthStar EMS.
According to a partially-redacted affidavit filed by MSP Detective Reid Bond, state police responded at approximately 11:21 a.m. after being contacted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Wilfred Daggett told police that he had been driving his vehicle, a 2017 Cadillac CT6, with his wife as a passenger, and that when he had attempted to do a “cookie” the vehicle had gone into the pond. He previously told 9-1-1 dispatchers that he had been unable to perform CPR on his wife due to having had surgery 10 weeks prior.
An autopsy of Collette Daggett by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that she had a bruise on her left eye and overlapping both lungs at the centerline, a fractured rib, bruising under the scalp as well as Atlanto-Occipital Dislocation. That latter injury, also known as internal decapitation, references the separation of the stabilizing ligaments between the spinal column and base of the skull and typically results in death. Collette Daggett’s death was classified as a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
On searching the residence, police found handwritten notes dated 2019 and apparently written by Collette Daggett that indicated that Wilfred Daggett had “subjected her to name calling, fighting, yelling, screaming, being thrown down, picking her up by the neck, and controlling behavior,” per the affidavit. Police also located digital messages in which Collette Daggett indicated that she was scared of Wilfred Daggett.
Footage of a security camera located on the premise was also reviewed by police, Bond wrote in the affidavit. The footage from June 1, 2021, at roughly 10:30 a.m., showed Collette Daggett telling her husband: “I am going on vacation, I will be back.” That video ended with both Daggetts and the vehicle still in the driveway.
A witness told a FCSO deputy that they witnessed the Daggetts arguing that morning and that “Collette was trying to leave and Wilfred was trying to get in the car.” The witness also said that Wilfred sat on top of Collette, who was in the driver’s seat, and then drove off.
On May 14, police received a report from a forensic engineering expert who specializes in biomechanics and accident reconstruction. That report said that the expert’s modeling of the incident indicated that Collette Daggett could not have suffered a atlanto-occipital dislocation as a result of a collision.
“… it is his opinion that the fatal injury to Collette Daggett was not caused by vehicle collision and is more consistent with interpersonal violence,” the affidavit reads.
The arrest affidavit references the charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder and concluded with a request that Wilfred Daggett be held without bail.
According to information previously released by the Maine Department of Public Safety, Maine State Police and the Major Crimes Unit attempted to locate Daggett on June 10 in order to arrest him on the murder charge. Troopers located Daggett’s vehicle that afternoon but the New Vineyard man fled, police said, with the vehicle last seen traveling on Route 234 in New Vineyard. Police did make contact with Daggett via telephone but were unable to negotiate his surrender; Daggett was located several hours later in his vehicle, deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.