The report comes after officials re-opened the case last year citing unexplained bruises and scratches on her face and arms, leading them to change her death certificate from a drowning to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
Wood’s died after reportedly falling off the Splendour in the waters off of the coast of Southern California. Her husband and actor, Robert Wagner, was onboard at the time, along with friend and actor, Christopher Walken. The only other person on the boat at the time was the captain of the ship, Dennis Davern.
Wood’s death was originally ruled accidental. It was thought that she fell overboard while trying to tie down a dinghy that was bumping against the boat. Bruising was identified at her original autopsy, but was attributed to her struggle with the dingy and her subsequent attempts to climb back onboard after falling overboard.
According to the new report, bruises found on Wood's body may have occurred before the actress drowned. Bruises on her arms, a scratch on her neck and superficial abrasions to the actress' face may have occurred before Wood ended up in the waters off Catalina Island, but coroner's officials wrote they could not definitely determine when the injuries occurred.
There have been conflicting reports as to what happened. According to Wagner, Wood fell off their 60-foot yacht, when she may have been trying to secure the dinghy, which had been banging against the side of the boat, disturbing her sleep. However, Woods had an extreme fear of the water, and it was unlikely that she would have attempted to tie the dinghy down in the middle of the night.
The case was re-opened in November of 2011, when the boat’s captain told “48 Hours Mystery,” that he heard an argument between Wood and her husband the night of her disappearance. Investigators traveled to Hawaii to inspect the original yacht Wood’s was on during that fateful night, but have kept quiet about any findings.
Investigators initially reported that the dinghy had no scratches on its hull, and Wood's fingernails were not preserved for analysis.
A number of the original coroner's investigators who worked on the case were re-interviewed. Officials also attempted to test items taken during the investigation, but the items could not be located.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote in the report completed in June, "The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this Medical Examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the agency has known about the findings for the past several months and reiterated that Wagner is not considered a suspect in Wood's death and the case remains open.
Wood starred in "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause," among others. She was nominated for three Academy Awards during her lifetime and her death came as a shock to the world and Hollywood.
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