FARMINGTON — A New Vineyard woman found dead beside a pond near her home last year died of blunt force injuries to the head and neck, according to an affidavit filed for an arrest warrant charging her husband with murder.

Liz Richards of Industry, right, sits next to her friend Collette Daggett of New Vineyard who  was found dead June 1, 2021 on the shore of a pond in New Vineyard. Liz Richards photo

The death of Collette Daggett, 43, on June 1, 2021, was ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The autopsy was conducted the following day by Dr. Liam Funte, who found injuries consistent with internal decapitation, a fractured rib, a bruised eye, a bruise under the scalp and overlapping lungs. The autopsy was finalized March 31 this year.

The information was detailed in the affidavit written by state police Detective Cpl. Reid Bond. A redacted version, with names of most witnesses removed, was released Wednesday.

The arrest warrant was issued June 10 this year, the day Daggett’s husband, Wilfred Daggett, 43, died of a self-inflicted gunshot as state police attempted to take him into custody in New Vineyard.

According to the affidavit, Daggett indicated to Franklin County dispatchers June 1, 2021, that he was driving a car on property he owned off Bog Road. When he tried to do a cookie spin, with his wife as a passenger, somehow it ended up in a small man-made pond.

Daggett told dispatchers he was unable to perform CPR on his wife because he had had surgery 10 weeks prior. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital complaining of abdominal pain and records indicated a CT scan was performed but there was no evidence of fracture, bleeding or edema.


When state police detectives arrived at the pond, Bond wrote, they found Collette Daggett on her back near the edge of the pond, not far from her submerged 2017 Cadillac sedan, and noticed marks on the side of her neck.

Detective Bond reviewed security videos, including one from 10:28 a.m. June 1, 2021, that showed Collette walking toward her car and Daggett following her. In the video, Bond heard Collette say, “I am going on vacation. I will be back.”

The video ends with the couple in the vehicle still in the driveway. About 90 minutes later a witness arrived and tells someone at the house that Collette is dead and that Daggett was driving like a maniac.

A witness told police she saw Daggett get into the car in their driveway that day and sit on her while she was in the driver’s seat. He pushed her over to the passenger seat and drove away at high speed.

Police were issued several search warrants, including for Daggett’s home and property on Anson Valley Road. A detective showed Bond several apparent writings by Collette from 2019 about her husband subjecting her to name calling, fighting, yelling, screaming, being thrown down, picking her up by the neck and controlling behavior, according to Bond’s affidavit.

On May 14 this year, Bond received a report from Dr. Thomas Jenkyn, a licensed engineer and owner of a forensic engineering company specializing in biomechanics and accident reconstruction. It was his opinion that Collette’s fatal injury was not caused by her car crashing into the pond, Bond wrote.

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