Sunday, November 19, 2017

Coroner releases new report on Natalie Wood death

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LOS ANGELES — Some of the bruises found on Natalie Wood's body may have occurred before the actor drowned in the waters off Southern California more than 30 years ago, according to a newly released coroner's report on one of Hollywood's most mysterious deaths.

On Monday officials released a 10-page addendum to Wood's 1981 autopsy that cites unexplained bruises and scratches on her face and arms as significant factors that led to officials changing her death certificate last year from a drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

Officials were careful about their conclusions because they lacked several pieces of evidence for their review.

Bruises on Wood's arms, a scratch on her neck and superficial abrasions to her face may have occurred before Wood ended up in the waters off Catalina Island in November 1981, but coroner's officials wrote they could not definitely determine when the injuries occurred.

The findings have not altered a sheriff's department investigation into the death, which a spokesman described as ongoing.

Wood, 43, was on a yacht with her actor-husband Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and the boat captain before somehow ending up in the water.

Several of the original coroner's investigators were re-interviewed, and officials attempted to test some items taken during the initial investigation and an autopsy, but they could not be located.

The original detective on the case, Wagner and Walken have all said they considered her death an accident.

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