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Lomita restaurant owner is charged with wife's murder

March 3, 2011 | 12:15 pm

A Lomita restaurant owner, who authorities say admitted to killing his wife after initially saying that she had vanished, was charged Thursday with one count of murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

David Viens, 47, admitted to detectives earlier this week that he had killed Dawn Viens, authorities said. Her death is believed to  have occurred between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20.

David Viens is recovering from injuries he sustained last week after jumping off a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff as Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies pursued him.

"He implicated himself in her killing," sheriff's Lt. David Coleman said earlier this week. Viens' girlfriend also provided information that tied him to his wife's death, Coleman said.

Dawn Viens went missing in October 2009. David Viens told police that she walked away from the Thyme Contemporary Cafe, which they owned, and never returned.

Dawn Viens' body has still not been found. After two days of digging at the restaurant, authorities abandoned their search for the body at the site.

"At this point, coroner's officials are satisfied she is not there," Coleman said.

Authorities used heavy excavating equipment to cut through the foundation of the cafe after leads suggested Dawn Viens' body was hidden there. Coleman said David Viens remodeled the restaurant after his wife's disappearance, including laying new concrete.

RELATED:

Digging resumes at restaurant where police believe missing woman is buried

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

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