The drowning death of three-time Oscar-nominated actress Natalie Wood was officially reopened by homicide investigators in Los Angeles on Thursday, and RadarOnline.com has learned they’ve received new info in the longtime Hollywood mystery as its 30th anniversary approaches.
Wood drowned November 29, 1981 while yachting off of Southern California’s Catalina Island; her then-husband Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and the ship’s captain Dennis Davern were also aboard the vessel, named the “Splendour.”
The Rebel Without A Cause star was reportedly drinking prior to her death at 43, which coroners ruled an accidental drowning, speculating in their report at the time the actress was “possibly attempting to board the dinghy and had fallen into the water, striking her face.”
In a bombshell Friday, Davern told the Today Show he lied to officers investigating the death back in the early 80s, and he thinks Wagner is responsible in the death.
“I made some terrible decisions and mistakes,” he told NBC’s David Gregory. “I did lie on a report several years ago…I made mistakes by not telling the honest truth.”
He added, “We didn’t take any steps to see if we could locate her…I think it was a matter of, ‘We’re not going to look too hard, we’re not going to turn on the searchlight, we’re not going to notify anybody right now.’”
And according to new reports, Natalie’s sister, Lana Wood, believes that Wagner withheld information from authorities when they interviewed him about about her death.
Wagner and Natalie first wed in 1957, divorced six years later, and remarried in 1972.
Wagner’s spokesman Alan Nierob said in a statement Thursday, “Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the LA County Sheriff’s department about this matter…they fully support the efforts of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30 year anniversary of her tragic death.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department will address the renewed investigation with a news conference Friday; we’ll keep you informed of all the details right here on RadarOnline.com.