- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor Christopher Walken says he went to bed on a yacht he was on with actress Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner 30 years ago and awoke to learn that she had died.

Walken tells Washington, D.C. sports talk radio station ESPN980 on Friday that there was drinking and shouting on the boat and that then “there was tragedy.”

His comments come as Los Angeles authorities reopened the case of Wood’s 1981 death in the waters off Southern California.

A boat captain said Friday that he lied to authorities about the case and that Wood’s husband, Wagner, was to blame for her death.

Police said Wagner was not a suspect and that they had new information that warranted a reopening the case.

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Associated Press writer Joe White in Bethesda, Md.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective says Robert Wagner is not a suspect in the 1981 death of his wife, actress Natalie Wood.

Lt. John Corina said that new information is substantial enough to take another look at the case. Wood’s body was found floating off a Southern California island as the couple were on a boating excursion. The death was ruled an accidental drowning.

Corina was asked if Wagner is a suspect and the detective said no.

The police news conference comes as a captain of the boat said on national TV Friday that he lied to investigators about Wood’s death and blamed Wagner for her drowning.

The circumstances of her death remain one of Hollywood’s enduring mysteries and continue to create renewed intrigue, with homicide detectives on Thursday unexpectedly re-opening the case that had long been classified as a tragic accident.

On Nov. 29, 1981, Wood drowned after spending several hours drinking on Catalina Island in a yacht with Wagner, fellow actor Christopher Walken and the ship’s captain, Dennis Davern.

Davern, skipper of the Splendour, told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday that he made mistakes by not telling the truth about events leading to the Thanksgiving weekend death and had urged Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide investigators to reopen the case.

Story Continues →