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The woman whose body was found near her submerged car in New Vineyard last June died of apparent blunt force trauma unrelated to a possible car crash.

Collette Daggett, 43, of New Vineyard, was found deceased lying along the shore of a pond after her husband — 42-year-old Wilfred Daggett — reported to police that his vehicle was submerged in the pond and that the couple needed medical assistance on June 1, 2021, according to Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine State Police.

Wilfred Dagget had reportedly told officers that the couple had been attempting to do spins before the car somehow ended up in the small man-made pond, according to the Sun Journal. He also reportedly said that he was unable to perform CPR because of a recent surgery.  

He was then taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, and was later released.

Wilfred Daggett was issued an arrest warrant and accused of murdering Collette Daggett in early June 2022. He was found dead in his vehicle on June 10 and died from an apparent self-inflicted gun wound, according to Moss.

An autopsy that was finalized in March and released as part of an affidavit on Wednesday revealed that the ligaments connecting Collette Daggett’s head to her neck had been damaged, consistent with internal decapitation, as well as a fractured rib, a bruised eye, a bruise under the scalp and overlapping lungs, according to the Lewiston newspaper. A consulting forensic engineer believed that she had not received the injuries in a possible car crash.

Home security footage from earlier on June 1, 2021, that was reviewed by investigators reportedly showed Collette Daggett telling her husband that she was going on vacation and would be back, shortly before the car ended up in the pond and her body was discovered.

Collette Daggett had also reportedly written a number of times about controlling and abusive behavior from Wilfred Daggett two years prior to her death, according to the Sun Journal.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.