Natalie Wood death report to question original autopsy
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Citing questions about bruises on the body of actress Natalie Wood, whose body was found floating off Catalina Island in 1981, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has changed the cause of death from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
“With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries,” wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.
“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. 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.”
The report was dated June 15, 2012, but was not made public until Monday.
The case is “open and ongoing; nothing definitive has closed it,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
He said that Wood’s widower, actor Robert Wagner, is not a suspect.
Credit: CNN. CNN’s Kyung Lah contributed to this report.