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Suspect in wife's disappearance was being pursued by police when he leaped off 80-foot cliff

February 24, 2011 |  7:00 am


David and Dawn Vines. A man described as a suspect in the disappearance of his wife more than a year ago jumped off a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes as L.A. County sheriff's detectives were following him, authorities said.

Detectives believe David Viens, 47, was trying to commit suicide when he jumped Wednesday morning.

Viens fell 80 feet from the cliffs near the Point Vicente Interpretive Center while he was attempting to evade deputies, authorities said. He was rescued by firefighters and sheriff's deputies.

He was taken by helicopter to Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance.

He was in critical condition and will be charged with murder if he survives, Lt. Dave Coleman said.

Viens was the subject of a Daily Breeze article Wednesday that reported he is a "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance and likely homicide. Dawn Viens hasn't been seen since Oct. 18, 2009. Investigators say her husband never reported her missing.

The 39-year-old woman was last seen leaving her husband's restaurant, the Thyme Contemporary Cafe in Lomita.

The Breeze reported that investigators found spattered blood on the walls inside his former home on Oak Avenue.


Man suspected of killing wife attempts suicide by jumping off cliff

-- Esmeralda Bermudez

Photo: David and Dawn Vines. Credit: KTLA