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Natalie Wood witness says she heard 'Help me, I'm drowning'

Natalie Wood witness Marilyn Wayne heard 'a woman's voice crying for help,' on the night of Nov. 28, 1981. Ms. Wayne is the first new Natalie Wood witness to emerge since the investigation was reopened Friday.

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Actress Natalie Wood shortly before her death in 1981. A new witness has come forward in the reopened investigation into her death.

AP file

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A new witness has emerged in the investigation into the death of Natalie Wood.

California resident Marilyn Wayne said that she heard “A woman’s voice, crying for help from drowning, awakened John, and he awakened me. ‘Help me, someone please help me, I’m drowning’ we heard repeatedly. Alarmed, I called out to my son, who also heard the cries, and looked at his new digital watch: it was just minutes after 11:00 P.M.,” said Ms. Wayne in a sworn statement.

ABC News reports that Wayne said she and her boyfriend, John Payne, were sleeping aboard a sailboat, the Capricorn, on Nov. 28, 1981. The window of the cabin was open. According to Wayne’s statement, Payne turned on the sailboat’s beam light and played it over the area while she went up onto the deck, though it was dark and damp and she says that she was unable to see anything.

Homicide detectives who reopened the investigation into the drowning death of Wood  after three decades said on Friday that the film star's husband, actor Robert Wagner, was not considered a suspect.

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The new inquiry into Wood's mysterious drowning off the California coast in 1981 comes amid new attention to the case on its 30th anniversary. The captain of the yacht she was on before her death now says that he lied to police at the time and holds Wagner responsible for her death.

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