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Robert Wagner refusing police in latest Natalie Wood death investigation

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:18:25 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2013 10:35:23 AM CST
Robert Wagner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

Actor Robert Wagner has repeatedly refused to be interviewed by detectives probing the 1981 drowning of his wife, Natalie Wood, a sheriff's lieutenant said in remarks published today.

Since reopening the investigation more than 13 months ago, detectives have gathered new evidence and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, but not the man they're most anxious to interview, authorities told the Los Angeles Times.

"We reached out through his attorney and got rebuffed. We went to his home and he refused to talk us, and we sent him a letter, so I say it is fair
to say he has declined to be interviewed, repeatedly," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina told the newspaper.

Wagner has ties to Palm Springs as a part-time resident over the years.

Of the three surviving individuals who were aboard the 60-foot yacht where Wood was last seen alive on Nov. 28, 1981, before she drowned off
Catalina Island, Wagner is the only one not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.

Now 82, he gave three interviews to detectives during the original investigation three decades ago. But Corina said the actor "changed his story
over the years, as has the caretaker of the vessel."

Wagner's attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement Thursday evening saying Wagner and his family have fully cooperated with authorities and have
nothing new to add, The Times reported.

Wood's death was originally listed as an accident. But the Los Angeles County coroner's office this week changed the cause to "undetermined," citing
unexplained bruising, a scratch and a scrape.

Hours before her death, authorities said, Wood, Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, had dinner at a restaurant, then returned to the
yacht, the Splendour, where they drank and an argument ensued between Walken and Wagner.

The Sheriff's Department has stressed that detectives have not determined whether a crime occurred on the boat. Corina told The Times that
detectives simply want as clear a narrative as possible about what took place.

Corina told The Times that "people have come forward from surrounding vessels" and "we have developed new information." But he declined to provide details.