New investigation into Natalie Wood's death take serious turn

    11:37 AM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CBS) - The investigation of Natalie Wood's death was reopened more than a year ago and now it has taken a serious turn. The LA coroner's office is expected to release a new report today, saying the original autopsy could be wrong and Wood may not have died in an accident.

    Sources tell CBS News the review of the 1981 coroner's report raises questions about every major finding that led investigators to originally label Natalie Wood's death an accident. Sources say the report concludes that the bruising on the actress' wrists, knees, and ankles could be more consistent with injuries from an assault than they were from struggling to climb back on to a boat.

    Wood died on Nov. 28, 1981 when, according to her husband actor Robert Wagner, she fell off their yacht, the 60 food "Splendour" possibly while trying to re-tie a dinghy that had been banging against the side of the boat disturbing her sleep. Her body was found hours later floating in the waters off Catalina Island.

    Wood's death was ruled an accidental drowning. But in 2011, Los Angeles Sheriff's detectives reopened the case after the skipper of the boat, Dennis Davern, co-authored a book in which he gave a very different account of what happened that night. He says, "I believe Robert Wagner was with her right up until she was in the water."

    Davern said there was arguing on the yacht, a fight between Wagner and fellow actor Christopher Walken in which a bottle was thrown. Key to his account is that after Wood went to bed, a loud argument and sounds of an apparent struggle could be heard from her cabin. Davern says, "The fighting went back to the back of the boat and then it was quiet."

    Davern also says Robert Wagner waited hours after Wood went missing before calling for help.

    Last year, the LA coroner's office changed the cause of Wood's death from "accident" to "undetermined." It remains to be seen if this new information will lead to criminal charges.

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