Actress Natalie Wood drowned off Catalina Island in the Pacific waters of Southern California 30 years ago – and the causes of her death remain one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries.
But now her death certificate has been officially amended to reflect the fact that it’s by no means a closed case in the eyes of the authorities.
The death certificate originally stated that her death was accidental, but now it says the cause was “drowning and other undetermined factors”, according to The Associated Press.
Wood’s death occurred in 1981 while she was on a boat called Splendour with her actor-husband Robert Wagner and star and friend Christopher Walken.
Conflicting accounts of the events of the fateful night have meant that question marks have always lingered over Wood’s death.
The captain, Dennis Davern, told US shows 48 Hours Mystery and Today that he’d heard Wagner and Wood rowing on the night she went missing and that this was behind her death.
He admitted that he’d lied to police during the initial investigation.
Wagner, however, maintained in his book Pieces of My Heart that the argument he’d had was with Walken and that he noticed his wife and the yacht’s dinghy were missing when he went to bed.
The coroner’s investigation ruled that because she’d been drinking that night, she may have slipped and fallen into the water as she tried to climb into the dinghy.
Detectives reopened the investigation into Wood’s death in November last year following Davern’s revelation, but it’s understood that Wagner, now 82, is not a suspect.
Chief of Detectives William McSweeney told AP: “We don't close these cases. These cases have active periods and more passive periods. We're moving toward the end of an active period."
Wood was nominated for an Oscar three times and is known for her roles in West Side Story and Rebel Without A Cause.
She was 43 when she died.