Coroner’s Photo Natalie Wood, Natalie Wood’s cause of death has been changed on her death certificate from “accident” to “undetermined,” TMZ reported Friday. Law enforcement sources told the tabloid website that documents were filed by the coroner’s office in June regarding the change.
In Nov. 2011, after receiving new information regarding the Nov. 29, 1981 drowning death of the actress, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. reopened the investigation into the incident.
Members of Wood’s family spoke to TMZ Friday, saying detectives had paid them a visit to inform them of the change in the death certificate, noting the “undetermined” status was due to the bruises found on Wood’s body that were inconsistent with a drowning death.
TMZ writes that detectives told the family Wood did indeed drown, however, “the way she ended up in the water is unclear.”
Wood, 43, died after partying on Thanksgiving weekend with her husband actor Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken, with whom she starred in the film ‘Brainstorm.’ At the time, the coroner ruled Wood’s death an accident, saying she was drunk and trying to secure a dinghy that was hitting the hull when she slipped and fell into the water – dressed only in a jacket and nightgown. The autopsy report also indicated Woods had 24 bruises on her body, including an abrasion on her left cheek.
Marti Rulli, who co-authored a book with Dennis Davern, the former captain of Wood’s yacht – the Splendour – said during an interview that he told her the night Wood died, a terrible fight took place on the boat. Davern claims that Wagner believed Walken was attracted to Wood and became jealous.