Detectives on Natalie Wood’s mysterious 1981 death: "We want to talk with Robert Wagner"
Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Homicide detectives said Monday that they want to talk with Robert Wagner, the then-husband of Oscar-nominated actress Natalie Wood, who died mysteriously in 1981.
Wood, who was best known for her roles in Miracle on 34th Street, West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, was 43 when she died on Nov. 29, 1981. The actress was sailing off the coast of California’s Catalina Island with her then-husband, Wagner, now 87, and her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken. Wood was discovered floating face down, although it’s unclear exactly how she entered the water.
Homicide Bureau Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters Monday, “We want to talk with Robert Wagner.”
“He’s a person of interest because he was the last person with her before she went in the water,” Corina added. “He was the last person with her, arguing, before everything went quiet.”
Corina said Monday that Wagner was the one who alerted those on the boat that Wood had gone missing.
“She’s missing and he sends them to go looking,” Corina said. “It’s not that big of a boat.”
The lieutenant said that Wagner then told those on board that a dinghy, which had been tied to the boat before her disappearance, was “now gone.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” Corina added. “It doesn’t add up.”
Corina emphasized that right now the department is “not pressing charges on anyone. We’re still just trying to figure out what happened.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told ABC News last week in a statement, “Wagner has always been a person of interest. This is not new; nothing new to add.”
Wagner has always denied any involvement in Wood’s death, according to The Associated Press.
ABC News reached out to Wagner Monday, but didn’t immediately hear back.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the investigation into Wood’s death in fall 2011.
In a statement released last Thursday, the department said after their 2011 press conference, they received “more than 100 tips and we followed up on every single one.”
From those tips, the department said they have witness statements for the first time ever, detailing a new sequence of events from that fateful night.
“Do we have enough to make an arrest at this moment? No,” the statement said.
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