Natalie Wood's Cause of Death Changed from "Accident" to "Undetermined"

Celebrity News Jul. 10, 2012 AT 11:10AM
Natalie Wood at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on November 19, 1976. Natalie Wood at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on November 19, 1976. Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage.com

The circumstances behind Natalie Wood's 1981 death remain just as mysterious as ever -- especially now that the cause of her death is, officially, a mystery.

According to a report by TMZ, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office changed the cause of death on the late actress' death certificate from "Accident" to "Undetermined" last month -- just seven months after the Sheriff's department reopened the investigation into her tragic end.

The legendary Hollywood actress died November 29, 1981 at the age of 43 during a boat party off California's Catalina Island (Wood's husband Robert Wagner and the couple's friend Christopher Walken were also in attendance). Initially, her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

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Family members of the deceased star tell TMZ law enforcement officials notified them of the change on Wood's death certificate, citing bruises found on her body considered "inconsistent with death by drowning."

Though the investigation into Wood's death remains open, the L.A. County Sheriff's department has been unable to prove once and for all that the actress' end was the result of foul play, or, as they initially believed, just an accident. (Officials have concluded that Wood did die from drowning, although they do not know how she ended up in the water.)

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Last fall, the boat's captain, Dennis Davern, told the Today Show that he believes Wood's husband Wagner was "responsible" for her death.

"We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate [Natalie]," he added. "I did lie on a report several years ago."

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