Robert Wagner Named a Person of Interest in Natalie Wood's Death Nearly 40 Years Later

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The death of actress Natalie Wood has been a mystery for nearly four decades -- but now there's a new development in her case.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators tell 48 Hours that they are now considering Wood's then-husband, actor Robert Wagner, a person of interest in her death. It's important to note that he is not a suspect in the death of Wood and never has been, but officials do believe he was the last person to see her alive. 

On Nov. 29, 1981, Wood drowned during a boat trip to Santa Catalina Island on Splendour, the family's yacht. She was 43.

Also on the boat at the time was Wagner, her Brainstorm co-star, Christopher Walken, and the Splendour's captain, Dennis Davern. Her death was originally ruled an accident, but in 2011, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reopened the investigation. In 2012, her death certificate was amended from accidental drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

Investigators now say they are looking to speak further with Wagner about the death of Wood and are talking in detail about the case in a series of interviews for Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water, airing Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

"As we've investigated the case over the last six years, I think he's more of a person of interest now," L.A. County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant John Corina says of Wagner in an interview with 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty. "I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared."

Investigators claim that Wagner refuses to speak with them in regard to Wood's death. "I haven't seen him tell the details that match all the other witnesses in this case," Corina continues. "I think he's constantly changed his story a little bit. And his version of events just don't add up." 

As for whether he believes Wood was murdered, Corina responds, "I think it's suspicious enough to make us think that something happened."

It is also noted by investigators that in Wood's autopsy, the Rebel Without a Cause star appeared to have a number of fresh bruises.

"She looked like a victim of an assault," says L.A. County Sheriff's Department detective Ralph Hernandez. "We have not been able to prove this was a homicide. And we haven't been able to prove that this was an accident, either. The ultimate problem is we don't know how she ended up in the water."

ET has reached out to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for a statement, as well as Wagner's rep, who had no comment.

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