Huffpost Celebrity

Robert Wagner Is Not A Suspect In Natalie Wood's Death, But He's Refusing To Talk To Detectives

Posted: Updated:
ROBERT WAGNER SUSPECT
This April 1980 photo shows Hollywood film star Natalie Wood with actor husband Robert Wagner in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles sheriff's detective said Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, that Wagner has not consented to an interview in their renewed inquiry into Wood's 1981 drowning. But an attorney for the actor and his family says he has cooperated with authorities. (AP Photo, File) | AP

Veteran actor Robert Wagner, 82, is reportedly refusing to cooperate with detectives conducting a renewed inquiry into the 1981 death of his wife Natalie Wood.

Eyebrows were raised earlier this week after police said that Wagner -- who is not a suspect in the case -- had declined numerous times to be interviewed by investigators.

"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," Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In response, Wagner's lawyer said in a statement that her client had complied with investigators since his wife's passing and that he had no more information to offer.

"Mr. Wagner has fully co-operated over the last 30 years in the investigation of the accidental drowning of his wife," said Blair Berk, according to the AP. "Mr. Wagner has been interviewed on multiple occasions by the Los Angeles sheriff's department and answered every single question asked of him by detectives during those interviews."

Lt. Corina stressed, however, that Wagner has "changed his story over the years."

According to Fox News, a "close insider" has said that the reopening of the case evokes "fresh emotions for those who were closest to the actress."

“It is all very sad and painful for them to have to relive this again more than 31 years since Natalie’s death,” the source said. “I think most families just wish it could be let go so everyone could really move on.”

The death of Natalie Wood has long been shrouded in mystery. The "West Side Story" actress had been on a boating trip in California with her husband and actor Christopher Walken prior to her death. Her body, covered in "bruises," was later found floating in the water about a mile away from the boat. At the time, with a stonewalled investigation, detectives ruled Wood's death an accidental drowning.

The case was reopened in 2011, however, after the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, told the media that he had lied to police during the initial investigation and claimed that a fight between Wagner and his wife had led to the woman's death. Wagner had previously admitted to having argued with Wood the night she died.

"I made some terrible decisions and mistakes," Davern told NBC News in November 2011. "I did lie on a report several years ago."

At the time, police said that Wagner was not a suspect. Authorities still "have not identified any suspects in the case," the Associated Press writes.

Earlier this week, the LA County coroner's office, citing the unexplained bruises and other marks on Wood's body, announced that it had changed the cause of Wood's death to "undetermined."

"There are four people on that boat that night and now one of them is dead. Something happened," Corina said, according to the Times. Wagner is reportedly the "only person on the boat" who has yet to "speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry."

Around the Web

Robert Wagner: Suspect In Natalie Wood's Death? | WebProNews

Robert Wagner -- I'm a Murder Suspect ... On TV | TMZ.com

Robert Wagner: Suspect? No, But Actor Declines Police Interview ...

Robert Wagner Is Not Considered a Suspect in Natalie Wood's ...

Natalie Wood Case Reopened: Robert Wagner Not A Suspect ...

Natalie Wood death: Robert Wagner not a suspect, Los Angeles ...

Bad Timing: Robert Wagner Plays Murder Suspect on 'NCIS ...