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Lomita restaurant owner admits to killing wife, investigator says; search for body continues

March 2, 2011 | 12:13 pm

Dawn and David Viens.

David Viens, 47, admitted in an interview with detectives Tuesday evening to killing Dawn Viens in October 2009.

"He implicated himself in her killing," said Lt. David Coleman of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Viens has yet to reveal what he did with her body, Coleman said. Investigators would not describe the circumstances surrounding her death.

Detectives planned to use heavy excavation equipment and a fire crew Wednesday to aid their search for Dawn Viens body.

Sheriff's and coroner's investigators dug under the Thyme Contemporary Cafe for a second day Wednesday.

Viens was arrested in a hospital and charged with suspicion of murder after jumping last week from a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff as police chased him.

Coleman said he believed Viens' jump was a suicide attempt.

Investigators continued Wednesday to cut away at the building's floor and foundation, where they suspect Dawn Viens may be entombed.

"We are bringing in a fire crew and heavy excavation equipment. ... We want to determine if this is where the victim's body is concealed," Coleman said. "We won't stop digging until we have eliminated the location."

Coleman said Viens remodeled the restaurant after his wife's disappearance in October 2009 and laid new concrete.

"For several days the windows were covered and restaurant closed for refurbishment," Coleman said. He said investigators had gathered information leading them to believe the woman may be buried at the site.

"David Viens' attempted suicide forced us to push the investigation forward and begin the search," Coleman said.


Heavy machinery to aid search for missing woman believed buried beneath Lomita restaurant

Wife likely buried beneath husband's restaurant, detectives say

Lomita man who jumped off cliff is booked on suspicion of murder in wife's disappearance

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Dawn and David Viens. Credit: KTLA