The 10-page addendum to Natalie Wood’s 1981 autopsy report released today describes bruises on Wood’s arms, a scratch on her neck and superficial abrasions to the actress’ face, The Associated Press reports. The details were cited as significant factors that led the LA County coroner’s department to change her death certificate last year from accidental to “drowning and other undetermined factors”, according to the AP. But officials were clear they could not definitely determine when the injuries occurred. “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 in the report completed in June. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the agency has known about the findings in the report for several months and it does not change the status of the investigation, which remains open. The report was released today after a security hold was lifted. The sheriff’s department reopened the Wood case last year, two weeks before the 30th anniversary of Wood’s death. The actress was on a yacht with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken the night of November 21, 1981 when she somehow ended up in the the water and died. Her death at the time was ruled an accident, but there has been a lot of speculation ever since over whether there was more to the story. The captain of the boat, Dennis Davern, told authorities after the new investigation began that he was skeptical that her death was an accident and believed she may have been a victim of foul play. Wood’s body was discovered the next morning, November 22, 1981, about a mile from the yacht. Authorities have said Wagner is not a suspect in his wife’s death. The original detective on the case, Wagner and Walken have all said they considered her death an accident.
By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Monday January 14, 2013 @ 1:15pm PST
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