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Robert Wagner Not a Suspect in Natalie Wood’s Death, Say Police

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 Betty Galella/

Thirty years later and things still aren't sorted out. 

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced that it was reopening the investigation into Natalie Wood's death in 1981. (The actress, 43, was boating off of Santa Catalina Island with her husband, Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken and others when she went overboard and died.) 

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The boat's captain, Dennis Davern, goes into detail about the incident in Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour, which he co-authored with Marti Rulli. On the Today Show Friday, Davern even went so far as to say that Wagner, now 81, was "responsible" for Wood's death.

But later in the day, the L.A. County Sherrif's Department said the actor is not considered a suspect in the death of the Rebel Without a Cause actress. 

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Lt. John Corina said, as excerpted by CBS, that new information deemed "substantial" was what prompted homicide detectives to re-open the case.

Davern claimed those onboard when Wood drowned "didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her," and admitted to "[lying] on a report several years ago."

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Wagner — who was married to the West Side Story star first in 1957 before divorcing six years later, only to remarry in 1972 — said in a statement that he supported the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and "trust 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."

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