Detective in Natalie Wood Case Insists Her Death Was an Accident (Video)

Dean Rasure questions captain Dennis Davern's motives

Last Updated: September 13, 2012 @ 3:42 PM

The lead detective in the original investigation of the recently re-opened Natalie Wood case told CBS News’ "48 Hours" that he still believes her death was an accident and that he did not find any evidence to incriminate Robert Wagner, Wood’s husband.

CBS moved its special “Vanity Fair: Hollywood Scandal” up from Nov. 26 to this Saturday night just as L.A. Sheriff’s Department announced on Friday that it was re-opening the Wood investigation.

Wood is just one of several scandals discussed in the special, which it has gained extra relevance given the news of the past 24 hours. The network released a clip from the show in advance of its airing. 

In it, Duane Rasure, a retired detective sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Homicide Bureau, says that he never suspected murder in the case.

Also Read: Sheriff's Department: Robert Wagner 'Not a Suspect' in Natalie Wood's Death (Updated)

"It was an accidental drowning, she just happened to be a famous movie star," Rasure told "48 Hours." "She was a small lady. She drowned in short time, I'd say.”

He also said he would have arrested Wagner personally if he ever found any evidence that  suggested he was a culprit.

The Sheriff’s Department has said that Wagner is not a suspect in the new investigation.

Rasure also questioned the credibility of Dennis Davern, the captain of the Splendour, the boat Wood, Wagner and Christopher Walken were on the night Wood died. Her body was found at sea the next morning.

Also Read: Natalie Wood Case: Police Contacted Boat Owner Weeks Ago

Rasure suggested that Davern was just trying to sell books and emphasized that he believes Wagner’s story. 

"I think he told me the truth," he said.