New Details Released in 20-Year-Old Cold Case

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

On Wednesday, 57-year-old Lightsey Saul was arraigned in Eddy County on a charge of conspiracy to commit capital murder. He waived extradition and now he's being held in the Eddy County detention center in Carlsbad with no bond. NewsWest 9 met with the private investigator on the Daggett case who shared his video from the arrest and new details about how they got this far.

"They went back and forth for awhile, there was some negotiation, and after some time he ended up coming out with his hands raised to authorities," Private Investigator James Juliano, said.

Texas Rangers, New Mexico State Police and Pecos County deputies took Saul into custody - the link in a case that's been ice cold for two decades.

"The only thing we do not know is where the victim was, and we would like to know that more than anything," Juliano said. "Were we standing on top of it in all those times we were out there in the search? Was it 6 feet from us, 100 feet? And also have some kind of closure for the family now that we have partial closure, we'd like to have full closure as far as uncovering their relative. I hope to get that done soon too," Juliano explained.

Authorities believe Lightsey Saul, a ranch-hand who's been living near Carlsbad for the last 20 years, is the mastermind behind the murder of Joe Daggett.

But catching Saul isn't the end of the case. Authorities tell us they're still looking for closure.

"We're here for the long haul," Juliano said. "It was a great deal of satisfaction to get this completed and be able to call the family and say hey we did it. He's in custody, we got him. That's a great feeling."

But after 20 years, how did this case re-surface? It's all thanks to one individual who's spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The investigator tells NewsWest 9, the person behind the funding wants to remain anonymous and has no relation to the Daggett family. And at this time he can't release their motive. It's a situation that insiders say is incredibly unique.

"I have never seen a cold case, or any case as far as that goes where an individual that is not related to the family as put up a financial effort like this to have a case worked and solved," Juliano said. "I don't think that's ever happened in U.S. history."