Authorities want to question Robert Wagner in Natalie Wood death investigation

Natalie Wood was on a boat with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, when she drowned in 1981.

Associated Press (1980)

Natalie Wood was on a boat with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, when she drowned in 1981.

Will actor Robert Wagner ever speak again about the investigation into the death of his wife, Natalie Wood?

That seems doubtful after investigators said the actor has refused several requests for interviews. More than 13 months ago, detectives reopened the investigation into Wood's death, and Wagner is the person they are most interested in talking to.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Wagner is the only person, who was on the boat at the time Wood drowned off Catalina Island in 1981, not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.

Wagner, 82, gave three interviews to detectives during the original investigation three decades ago. But Corina said the actor "changed his story over the years, as has the caretaker of the vessel."

Wood's death originally was listed as an accident. But this week, the Los Angeles County coroner's office announced that it had changed the cause of death to "undetermined." A coroner's report released Monday cited unexplained fresh bruising on Wood's right forearm, left wrist and right knee, along with a scratch on her neck and a superficial scrape on her forehead.

Officials said the injuries open the possibility that she was assaulted before drowning. The Sheriff's Department has stressed that detectives have not determined whether a crime occurred on the boat.

Corina said detectives simply want as clear a narrative as possible about what happened on the boat.

"There are four people on that boat that night and now one of them is dead. Something happened," he said.

Wagner's attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement saying that the actor and his family have fully cooperated with authorities. "After 30 years, neither Mr. Wagner nor his daughters have any new information to add to this latest investigation, which was unfortunately prompted by those seeking to exploit and sensationalize the 30th anniversary of the death of his wife and their mother," Berk said in the statement.

Authorities want to question Robert Wagner in Natalie Wood death investigation 01/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 11:22pm]

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