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Investigators: Actor Robert Wagner a 'Person of Interest' in Wife Natalie Wood's Death


Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner in 1980.

Investigators in the unsolved 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood have named her husband, actor Robert Wagner, as a "person of interest" in a case that stunned the nation.

Wood's body was found floating off Santa Catalina Island the morning after she disappeared from a yachting party with Wagner, actor Christopher Walken and the boat's captain. All had been drinking heavily.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lieutenant John Corina tells CBS-TV's 48 Hours, to be broadcast Saturday, "We know now that he [Wagner] was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared."

Corina also said Wagner's story of what happened that night has shifted over the years and "his version of events just don't add up."

The capitan told investigators he heard Wood and Wagner arguing that night. Wagner had written that it was he and Walken who argued and that he did not notice his wife was missing until he saw a small boat hooked onto the yacht was also gone.

Investigators originally ruled Wood's death an accident, but reopened the case in 2011. The coroner has since amended Wood's death certificate to read the cause of death as "drowning and other undetermined factors."

Investigators say the 87-year-old Wagner is not a suspect, but just a person of interest, meaning he may have more information that he has yet to disclose. He has always denied responsibility for his wife's death.

Wood, 43 when she died, started her career as a child actress and became a Hollywood icon, starring in such classics as Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, The Great Race, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

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