- The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said it’s getting closer to solving the mysterious 1981 death of Academy Award-nominated actress Natalie Wood.
- It was revealed last week that Wood’s husband, actor Robert Wagner, is a person of interest.
- The case, originally ruled as an accidental drowning, was reopened in 2011.
At a press conference held at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on Monday, Lieutenant John Corina said detectives were getting closer to finding the truth behind Natalie Wood’s mysterious death in 1981, according to Deadline.
In November 1981, the Oscar-nominated actress died on a yacht trip off the coast of Catalina Island, California. She was found floating in the water, wearing a red down jacket and a flannel nightgown.
Wood was with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, captain Dennis Davern, and the actor Christopher Walken. After two weeks of investigation, her death was ruled an accident.
Last week it was revealed that Wagner – the last person to see Wood alive – was a person of interest in the case. According to witnesses and Wagner’s 2008 memoir, he and Wood had a fight the night before she was found dead.
“We have a better understanding now of what happened,” Corina said. New witness statements have given detectives a clearer timeline of events that night, which differ from statements given immediately following Wood’s death in 1981, Corina said. There is not enough evidence to make arrests at this time, however.
Corina said that once they determine how Wood got in the water, they can determine whether it was an accident or if it was a murder. “Was she placed in the water? Was she unconscious and then placed in the water? Was she put in the water by somebody? Or did she accidentally fall into the water and nobody helped her?”
“We’d love to hear from Robert Wagner,” Corina added. “What he said doesn’t really add up to what we found and what we’ve heard.” Corina also said that Wagner is a person of interest, not a suspect.
In 2011, Wood’s case was reopened. In 2012, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office amended Wood’s death certificate, changing her cause of death from accidental drowning to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
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