Coroner releases new report on Natalie Wood death

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm •  Published: January 14, 2013
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The report was released Monday after sheriff's officials released a security hold.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the agency has known about the findings in the newly released autopsy report for several months and it does not change the status of the investigation, which remains open. He said Wagner is not considered a suspect in Wood's death and the agency hasn't said they have any suspicions about Walken or the boat captain, Dennis Davern.

Wood, famed for roles in such films as "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause," was nominated for three Academy Awards during her lifetime. Her death stunned the world and has remained one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries. The original detective on the case, Wagner and Walken have all said they considered her death an accident.

Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died. Wood, Wagner and Walken had all been drinking heavily in the hours before the actress disappeared.

The newly released report states there are conflicting statements about when the boat's occupants discovered Wood was missing. The report estimates her time of death was around midnight, and she was reported missing at 1:30 a.m.

The updated report estimates that due to the cold temperature of the water and other factors, Wood likely died shortly after she got into the water.

The renewed inquiry came after the Davern told "48 Hours" and the "Today" show that he heard Wagner and Wood arguing the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was to blame for her death.

Wagner wrote in a 2008 memoir that he and Walken argued that night. He wrote that Walken went to bed and he stayed up for a while, but when he went to bed, he noticed that his wife and a dinghy that had been attached to the yacht were missing.

"Nobody knows," he wrote. "There are only two possibilities; either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. But the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what happened."

Wagner's publicist Alan Nierob declined comment on the coroner's findings. Walken's publicist referred an email to the actor's agent, who did not respond.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP