Published January 14, 2013
Investigators revealed new details Monday in the recently reopened case of Natalie Wood’s mysterious death.
The Los Angeles’ Coroner’s Office released a new report that questions the findings of Wood’s 1981 autopsy. Her death was ruled an accident after the original investigation, but the new report revealed bruises on Wood’s wrists, knees and ankles could have occurred before she fell into the ocean, indicating she may have been assaulted.
"A few day old bruises were on the back of [her] right thigh and knee but there were fresh bruises and scratches to the right posterior leg," the report reads.
Wood died after she fell off a yacht on Nov. 28, 1981, according to her husband Robert Wagner. Her bruises were originally said to have been from her failed attempt to climb back on the boat.
However the new report notes that may not have been the case.
"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising, support bruising having occurred prior to the entry into the water."
Authorities renewed their inquiry into Wood's 1981 death in late 2011. Monday's report lays out the reasons for altering her cause of death from drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht shared by Wood, Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died.
The renewed inquiry came after the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, told "48 Hours Mystery" and the "Today" show that he heard Wagner and Wood arguing the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was to blame for her death.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says Wood's death is an open investigation, but he reiterated that Wagner is not considered a suspect.
Wagner wrote in a 2008 memoir that he and Walken argued that night. He wrote that Walken went to bed and he stayed up for a while, but when he went to bed, he noticed that his wife and a dinghy attached to the yacht were missing.
Wood was nominated for three Academy Awards during her lifetime. Her death stunned the world and has remained one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.