The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department gave a press conference Friday morning to talk about why it is reopening the investigation into the death 30 years ago of actress Natalie Wood. TVWeek first reported late last night that the case was being reopened.
The press conference by Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. John Corina was light on details, but did confirm that at this time authorities continue to treat Wood’s death as an accidental drowning. However, the spokesman said that several sources had surfaced with credible information that convinced officials to re-examine the case.
He would not specify what that information is, but indicated that it is unrelated to activities surrounding the 30th anniversary of Wood’s death. "Just having the media attention we’ve received on this,” he said, “we’ve generated calls and people remember things from back then, or back then didn’t talk to the police and now want to tell their story."
Asked whether Wood’s body would be exhumed, Corina said: "I’m not going to comment on that. I don’t know if we’re going to do that or not."
Corina said actors Christopher Walken and Robert Wagner, who were on the boat, the Splendour, at the time of Wood’s death on Nov. 29, 1981, are not considered suspects in the case at this time. But with the reopening of the case, questions have arisen about whether the drowning was fully investigated at the time.
"I’m not saying there wasn’t an extensive investigation,” Corina said. “I’m just saying this new information is substantial enough for us to take another look at the case."
Evidence from the captain of the Splendour, Dennis Davern, surfaced after the initial investigation. To read about that evidence that was not initially considered, click here. Davern is expected to be re-interviewed in the investigation.