Coroner cites bruises in amending report on death of Natalie Wood

  • Updated: January 14, 2013 - 10:51 PM

A newly released report shows coroner's officials amended Natalie Wood's death certificate based on unanswered questions about bruises on her upper body but were lacking several pieces of evidence and could only determine that she drowned under undetermined circumstances more than 30 years ago.

Los Angeles County coroner's officials state in a 10-page addendum to Wood's autopsy report that some of the bruises on her wrists and other areas may have occurred before she went into the water and drowned, but that could not be definitively determined. Officials reviewed Wood's case after Los Angeles sheriff's investigators renewed their inquiry into her November 1981 drowning in late 2011. Wood's death certificate was amended last year to change her cause of death from drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors" and the report released Monday details the reasons for the alteration.

Wood was on a yacht off Catalina Island with her husband, Robert Wagner, shown above, and co-star Christopher Walken on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981 before somehow ending up in the water. The original detective on the case, Wagner and Walken have all said they considered her death an accident.

"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," the report states. "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," Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote.

Wood's death stunned the world and has remained one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries.

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