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January 15, 13

NEWS / Bruises, limited evidence led officials to change Natalie Wood’s death certificate – new report

Some of the bruises and scratches found on Natalie Woods body after she drowned more than 30 years ago may have occurred before the famous actress went into the water, a newly-released autopsy addendum states. These new facts caused officials to change the cause of death on her death certificate last year from drowning to drowning and other undetermined factors. The new evidence has reignited interest to the mysterious circumstances surrounded Woods death.

The report states that there is evidence to suggest that the bruises on Woods arm, as well as a scratch on her neck and some abrasions on her face occurred before she was in the waters off Catalina Island, Calif.

The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote in the autopsy addendum, as reported by the Associated Press. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this Medical Examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined.

The original autopsy report stated that the injuries were likely inflicted at the time of drowning.

Wood, 43, was on a yacht with her husband Robert Wagner, also a famous actor, her co-star Christopher Walken, and the ships captain in November 1981 before her body was discovered in the water.

A dinghy that had been hitched onto the yacht was also found floating near the shoreline of Catalina Island. Investigators initially stated that there were scratches on its hull, but Woods fingernails were not preserved for proper analysis. The dinghy itself could not be located for re-examination last year.

Wood (née Natalia Zacharenko) was a world-famous actress, who started her career in childhood, became known for her roles in movies such as Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story, and was nominated for three Academy Awards during her lifetime. Her mysterious death shocked the world, and the original detective in charge of the case concluded that it was an accident. Wagner and Walken also said they believed that her death was accidental.

The investigation was renewed after the boats captain, Dennis Davern, told 48 Hours Mystery and the Today show that he heard Wood arguing with her husband the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was the culprit of her death.

In 2008, Wagner stated in a memoir that he had been arguing with Walken before noticing that his wife had disappeared. He also opined that she was either trying to get away from the argument or that she was simply trying to tie the dinghy.

Tags: death certificat, death certificate,


AnnaMaria Realbuto
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