L.A. Sheriff reopens Natalie Wood case

Thesp's sister, boat captain sought new probe

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is reopening its investigation into the death of actress Natalie Wood, who drowned nearly 30 years ago off the coast of Catalina Island.

“Recently sheriff’s homicide investigators were contacted by persons who stated they had additional information about the Natalie Wood Wagner drowning. Due to the additional information, Sheriff’s homicide bureau has decided to take another look at the case,” Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, said.

After an investigation following her death, Sheriff’s investigators and the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled that Wood’s death was an accident. But the exact circumstances surrounding her death have ever since been a mystery.

On the evening of Nov. 29, 1981, Wood and her husband, Robert Wagner, were spending the Thanksgiving weekend on their boat along with Christopher Walken. They had been drinking at a restaurant at Two Harbors and later, when they retured to the boat, Wagner and Walken got into a heated argument. Wood left the room, and it is believed that she may have gone to tie up a dinghy and somehow fell in the ocean.

Wood’s sister, Lana Wood, and the captain of the Wagner’s yacht, Dennis Davern, last year asked Sheriff’s investigators to reopen the case. Although Lana Wood told CNN she did not suspect foul play, she said she wanted the “truth to come out, the real story,” including the nature of an alleged argument between Wood and Wagner shortly before her death.

Whitmore would not elaborate on the nature of the additional information, but said homicide investigators would talk further about the case at a media gathering on Friday.

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