LOS ANGELES No new evidence has been uncovered in the death of Natalie Wood that would point to foul play, authorities said Tuesday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s chief of detectives William McSweeney told the Los Angeles Times that several weeks of interviews and other investigative work have not uncovered any evidence the death was a homicide. It had been ruled as an accident.
Cold cases like Wood’s are never really closed and detectives are still looking at some aspects of the case, said McSweeney. The investigation was reopened in November, when detectives said several sources came forward with new information.
Natalie Wood died sometime after the evening of Nov. 28, 1981, when the 43-year-old actress was boating off Catalina Island with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken. The evening before the drowning, Wood, Wagner and Walken, who was Wood’s co-star in the film “Brainstorm,” had dinner at a restaurant on the island.
Authorities said they returned to the yacht and had drinks and that Wagner and Walken got into an argument.
Walken went to bed, according to Wagner, who, after staying up with boat captain Dennis Davern, went looking for his wife and couldn’t find her on board. He then noticed that a dinghy attached to the boat — and his wife — were gone.
Lifeguard captain Roger Smith told the Times in November that the actress could have been saved if officials had been called sooner to search for her. Smith said he was alerted that Woods was missing at 5:11 a.m. the next day.
Based on the condition of her body when she was pulled from the water, Smith said he believes she survived for some time in the water and was washed out to sea.