Natalie Wood Death Investigation: Sheriff’s Officials Discuss brand new Details

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators held a press conference Monday to discuss brand new information inside investigation into the unexplained drowning death of Hollywood star Natalie Wood. Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island in California in November 1981 after she went missing via the Splendour, her family’s yacht. 

Also aboard that will night were her then-husband, actor Robert Wagner, Captain Dennis Davern, along with Wood’s friend along with fellow actor, Christopher Walken. The next day, the actress was found floating inside water wearing a red down jacket along with flannel nightgown.

After a two-week investigation, the death was ruled an accident. nevertheless, in 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the death investigation.  along with in 2012 the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office amended the death certificate, changing the manner of death via an accidental drowning to “drowning along with various other undetermined factors.”

Nearly four decades after her death, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators tell 48 Hours that will Wagner is actually right now a person of interest. The broadcast’s investigation “Death in Dark Water” aired Saturday. 

“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest right now,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina says of Wagner in an interview with 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty. “I mean, we know right now that will he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”

Late Thursday, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s official said the drowning is actually right now being investigated as a “suspicious death” after brand new witnesses emerged. Speaking Monday, Corina said well over 100 people came forward when investigators held a press conference in 2011. Investigators identified people who had information who hadn’t previously come forward, which helped them clarify a timeline of events leading up to Wood’s death.

CBS News

Those people included boaters moored nearby who were able to corroborate Davern’s account that will he heard an argument before Wood went missing, Corina said. Davern said Wagner looked angry along with told him to leave, Corina said. 

Investigators say Wagner has refused to speak with them since the case was reopened. Corina tells Moriarty he doesn’t believe Wagner has told the whole story. He said investigators have reached out to Wagner at least two or three times, along with he’s refused to speak with them.

“Yes, of course we want to talk to Robert Wagner, you bet, we want to hear his type of events,” Corina said at the press conference Monday.

Wagner’s type of events doesn’t add up to what various other people have told them, Corina said Monday. Corina appeared to cast doubt on Wagner’s account that will Wood took a dinghy into town, noting the item was raining along with Wood was in her pajamas.

Corina said investigators are still trying to determine how Wood ended up inside water — whether she fell accidentally, or whether someone placed her there. Corina said there were bruises on Wood’s body that will were likely caused by another person.

He said the biggest challenge inside case is actually the passage of time. He encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

This specific story originally appeared on


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