Police Say Lomita Restaurant Owner Admits to Killing Wife

Suspect jumped off 80-foot cliff last week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Investigators expect to be digging at a Lomita restaurant "for some time" in search of a missing woman's remains. (Published Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011)

    The search of a closed Lomita restaurant for the body of a woman believed to have been killed by her husband continued Wednesday -- a week after the suspect nearly killed himself in a jump off an oceanfront cliff.
     

    A final decision will be made Thursday on whether there will be more digging at the closed Lomita restaurant in the search for the body of Dawn Viens.

    Sheriff's detectives and coroner's investigators were at Thyme Contemporary Cafe at 24427 Narbonne Ave., which is owned by 47-year-old David Viens, who remains hospitalized.

    He has been booked on suspicion of murdering his wife, Dawn, who has not been seen since Oct. 18, 2009.

    "He has implicated himself in the incident," sheriff's Lt. Patrick Hunter said.

    Sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman said Viens closed the restaurant for remodeling not long after his wife disappeared. The remodeling included pouring cement, he said. Excavations were being conducted for the remains. Viens has yet to reveal what he did with the body, Coleman said.

    Dawn Viens worked at the restaurant where the search was being undertaken.

    Last Wednesday, Viens jumped from a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, plunging about 80 feet in what authorities said was a suicide attempt. He was under surveillance at the time. Authorities said he got into a fight with his girlfriend and leapt from the cliff when deputies tried to intervene.

    He was arrested at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on suspicion of murder, but he remains hospitalized.