LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detective said Friday that new information investigators recently received about the 1981 death of actress Natalie Wood is substantial enough to cause them to reopen the case but said her husband, actor Robert Wagner, is not a suspect.
"As a homicide bureau, we are always open to receiving additional information about older cases and current cases," said Lt. John Corina. "If we receive information that we assess and deem credible or reliable, we are not opposed to reacting to it."
In answer to a question at a news conference at sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park, Corina reiterated that Wood's husband is not a suspect in her death off the coast of Catalina Island.He said several sources had come forward with new information that warranted "another look at the case."
"Her death was ruled an accidental drowning, and that's what it is," he said. "If our investigation finds something else, then we'll address that."
He later said the two investigators assigned to the reopened case would talk to Dennis Davern, captain of Wagner's yacht, Splendour.
Davern said on national TV Friday morning that he lied to investigators 30 years ago about details of the case.
Wood, 43, was boating off Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend 1981 with Wagner and actor Christopher Walken when she went overboard and died.
Officials ruled her death an accident, but there has since been much speculation about whether there was more.
Wagner on Thursday expressed support for a new investigation.
The actor "trusts they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death," Wagner's spokesman, Alan Nierob, said in the statement.
On the evening of Saturday, Nov. 28, authorities said, their 60-foot yacht had anchored and Wood, Wagner and Walken had dinner at Doug's Harbor Reef restaurant on Catalina.
Later, they returned to the yacht. Wagner and Walken had an argument.
They eventually calmed down, Wagner said, but when he went to bed, Wood wasn't there. Wagner thought she had taken a small inflatable boat by herself, as she had done before, his spokesman said afterward.