Robert Wagner Named Person of Interest in Natalie Wood's Drowning Death

CBS News

Wood's death has been classified as suspicious and Wagner has been named a person of interest in the case, officials said.

"For the first time" there are "witness statements that portray a new sequence of events that night", a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement released by CBS.

Corina said Monday that Wagner was the one who alerted those on the boat that Wood had gone missing. We'd like to hear his side, his version of events. "I said to Robert Wagner, I said, you know, let's turn on the search light to see if we can see her, and he said, 'No, we don't want to do that right now, '" he said.

Law enforcement is now seeking more witnesses in the death of the Hollywood icon.

Before Corina stirred the reporters into a frenzy, the detective stated that the investigation has not been transformed into a murder investigation and he has not charged people yet. "We're closer to understanding what happened".

"There are only two possibilities", Wagner wrote, "either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy".

Among the new witnesses were people who knew Wood and her husband Robert Wagner, people on the island or people near the boat that night.

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Corina did not explain why anyone who might know something didn't come forward in 1981 or in 2011, and whether that failure might undermine their credibility all these decades later.

The Academy Award-winning actress was travelling on her family's yacht, Splendour, with Wagner, the ship's captain Dennis Davern and her friend, actor Christopher Walken, off the coast of Catalina Island.

They've done this kind of press conference before, including in 2011 when they reopened the case on the 30th anniversary of Wood's death.

Lt. Corina said that at this time the department is not planning on pressing additional charges but that he hopes more witnesses will come forward.

Natalie Wood circa 1980 in Los Angeles, California.

Wagner was at the time one of the industry's main leading men, and later became one of the biggest stars on TV with shows such as Hart To Hart and Switch.

While the actor has not engaged with the Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Department about the investigation, Wagner has been semi-active in the public eye.

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Wagner publicly supported the new investigation and has reportedly called Wood's death a tragic accident.

Investigators who have been working on the case for six years told 48 Hours they are ready to speak with Wagner, who Lana says has so far refused to cooperate since the case was reopened. In 2012, the coroner's office amended Wood's official cause of death as "drowning and other undetermined factors".

Investigators note the autopsy report indicates there were a number of bruises that appeared to be fresh on Wood's body. She was a child actor who starred in "Miracle on 34th Street" and the iconic "Rebel Without a Cause". "I think he's constantly changed his story a little bit".

"Do we have enough to make an arrest at this moment?"

The 87-year old's attorney has said he fully cooperated with investigators. "Mr. Wagner has been interviewed on multiple occasions by the Los Angeles sheriff's department and answered every single question asked of him by detectives during those interviews". "No", the statement said.

"Somebody's lying", she said. Wagner wanted to move the boat at night, but Wood didn't want him to.

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