Investigators who last week told CBS News that actor Robert Wagner is a “person of interest” in the death of actress Natalie Wood, have now confirmed his story just doesn’t “add up.”
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Wood drowned in November 1981 after going overboard while on her family’s yacht near Catalina Island, California. Her then-husband, Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and Capt. Dennis Davern also were on board. She was 43.
A publicity photo of Natalie Wood taken during the 1960’s.
“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now,” Lt. John Corina told CBS last week of Wagner. “I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”
After a “48 Hours” report on Saturday detailed some of the new clues in the case, the Los Angeles Sheriffs’ Department followed up Monday morning with a press conference explaining the investigation’s current status “We’re closer to understanding what happened,” said LAPD Homicide Detective John Corina, although no charges are being filed as yet.
In this April 3, 1978 file photo, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood arrive at the 50th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Detectives hope the latest round of renewed interest in the mysterious 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood will bring forward new witnesses, but this may otherwise be the end of the investigation, a Los Angeles County sheriff's official said Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Wood was found floating in the ocean during a Thanksgiving weekend yachting trip to Catalina Island with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and the boat’s captain. Her death was initially classified as a drowning.
Photo: AP Photo/File
“We’d love to hear his side of his version of events,” said Corina. “He’s always been a person of interest because he was the last one with her.”
Corina added that Wagner is not legally required to speak with officials.
He said the information shared by Wagner regarding the events of that evening “doesn’t really add up.”
In 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office changed the cause of death from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.” Investigators later cited the presence of bruises on Wood’s body as the reason for the change.
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“There were bruises on Natalie Wood’s body,” Corina said in Monday’s conference. “They were probably caused by another person. I can’t say who caused the injuries.” An autopsy showed that Wood had a high alcohol level as well as prescription drugs in her system.