Man Who Found Wood Believes Death Was Accident
"For a dead body, she was a very beautiful woman, still," Doug Bombard said.
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Doug Bombard found Natalie Wood's body floating in the waters off of Catalina Island after she died in November 1981. He still believes her death was an accident. (KTLA-TV)
Doug Bombard went out to look for Wood in the early morning hours after the night she went missing in the waters near the Isthmus of Catalina Island when she was boating with husband Robert Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken.
A longtime Catalina resident, Bombard knows the waters around the island well and used his knowledge of the tides to get an idea where Wood's body might be. He spotted a bright red jacket floating in the water, which led him to Wood's body.
When he pulled Wood's body into his boat, he was struck with the same thing he was always struck with whenever he looked at her.
"When we brought her into the boat, I thought at the time, for a dead body, she was a very beautiful woman, still," he said.
Bombard was the man who informed Wood's husband, actor Robert Wagner that his wife was found dead in the water. Wagner gave Bombard an intense look,
"It confirmed something he already knew, I think," Bombard said. "And he just looked down."
Bombard also knew Wood and Wagner. He owned the restaurant the couple and Walken ate at the night Wood died. He said he never saw Wood and Wagner fight and only knew the couple to happy together. He does not believe there was any foul play surrounding the actress' death.
Back in 1981, Bombard believed Wood's death was an accident. He still believes she fell off of the boat, slipped into the water and drowned and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's announcement that the case is being re-opened is connected to a push to sell books capitalizing on the 30th anniversary of Wood's death.
Bombard believes the dinghy tethered to the boat was likely banging against the side of the larger boat and Wood -- detectives said was intoxicated at the time of her death -- slipped and fell as she tried to tighten the ropes and to reduce the noise.
That's when Bombard thinks she slipped into the ocean.