Natalie Wood Investigators to Examine Boat in Hawaii; Robert Wagner Not a Suspect
Investigators will examine the boat that carried Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken the night the actress died in 1981, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department announced Friday.
Lt. John Corina addressed a throng of media at a press conference at the Sheriff's Monterey Park headquarters announcing that the 30-year-old investigation into the actress' death has been reopened. Corina refused to provide details on the inquiry into the death, which he said is still considered an accidental drowning. But he said that Wagner is not a suspect, adding that the department had received new, credible information that prompted further investigation.
"We felt we should be responsible enough to follow up," Corina said.
The boat that carried the trio that night now resides in Hawaii, and Corina said investigators will examine it in connection with the inquiry. He declined to discuss if there was a suspicion of foul play in the incident. When asked whether investigators would interview Wagner or Walken, Corina said he wouldn't comment on with whom investigators would speak.
Corina also would not address statements by boat captain Dennis Davern, who made media rounds Friday saying he lied for Wagner during previous recounts of the evening when Wood died.
In a CNN appearance, Davern said he was asked by Wagner not to turn on the boat's search light or call a nearby restaurant after Wood went missing from their boat off the coast of Southern California's Catalina Island. He also indicated that the married Wood and Wagner, who had allegedly been fighting due to Wagner's jealousy over his wife's apparent closeness with Brainstorm co-star Walken, took their fight to the ship's aft deck before things went silent.
The actress' bruised body was later found in the ocean about a mile from the boat, named the Splendour.
Wagner has maintained Wood went to bed and when he later came below deck, she was gone. On Thursday, he gave the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
"Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the L.A. County Sheriff’s department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death."