Coroner Alters Natalie Wood's Death Certificate

To 'drowning, other undetermined factors'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2012 3:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Natalie Wood's death certificate now gives the cause of death as "drowning and other undetermined factors" instead of merely "drowning," according to a copy obtained by the AP. The amended document now also states that it is "not clearly established" how the actress ended up in waters off Southern California after a night on a boat with husband Robert Wagner and co-star Christopher Walken 31 years ago.

The decision to change the certificate was made by the coroner's office, which has been told not to discuss its findings, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office chief of detectives. "I would just say 'undetermined' is descriptive," he says, adding that work remains to be done on the case. "We don't close these cases," he says. "These cases have active periods and more passive periods. We're moving toward the end of an active period." Authorities say Wagner is not considered a suspect, although the boat's captain revealed last year that he heard the pair arguing and blames Wagner for Wood's death.

This photo released by the Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk shows page 2 of actress Natalie Wood's death certificate.
This photo released by the Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk shows page 2 of actress Natalie Wood's death certificate.   (AP Photo/ Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk)
Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood pose at the Dorchester Hotel in London, England in this 1972 photo.
Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood pose at the Dorchester Hotel in London, England in this 1972 photo.   (AP File Photo)
This 1981 photo shows actress Natalie Wood.
This 1981 photo shows actress Natalie Wood.   (AP Photo/File)
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