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Authorities want to question Robert Wagner in Natalie Wood death

PHOTOS: Natalie Wood | 1938-1981

Will actor Robert Wagner ever speak again about the investigation into the death of his wife, Natalie Wood?

That seems doubtful after investigators said Thursday that the actor has refused several requests for interviews. More than 13 months ago, detectives reopened the investigation into Wood's death, and Wagner is the person they are most interested in talking to.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Wagner is the only person who was on the boat at the time Wood drowned off Catalina Island in 1981 not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.

PHOTOS: Natalie Wood | 1938-1981

"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," Corina said Thursday.

Wagner, 82, gave three interviews to detectives during the original investigation three decades ago. But Corina said the actor "changed his story over the years, as has the caretaker of the vessel."

Wood's death was originally listed as an accident. But earlier this week, the L.A. County coroner's office announced that it had changed the cause of death to "undetermined." A coroner's report released Monday cited unexplained fresh bruising on the actress' right forearm, left wrist and right knee, along with a scratch on her neck and a superficial scrape on her forehead.

FULL COVERAGE: Natalie Wood investigation reopened

Officials said the wounds open the possibility that she was assaulted before drowning. The Sheriff's Department has stressed that detectives have not determined whether a crime occurred on the boat.

Corina said Thursday that detectives simply want as clear a narrative as possible about what happened on the boat.

"There are four people on that boat that night and now one of them is dead. Something happened," he said.

Wagner's attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement Thursday evening saying that the actor and his family have fully cooperated with authorities.

"After 30 years, neither Mr. Wagner nor his daughters have any new information to add to this latest investigation, which was unfortunately prompted by those seeking to exploit and sensationalize the 30th anniversary of the death of his wife and their mother," Berk said in the statement.

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-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood at the London premiere of "The Godfather" in 1972. Credit: Tom Wargacki / WireImage

 
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