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Authorities dig up restaurant floor in search for owner's missing wife

March 1, 2011 |  2:41 pm

Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators and coroner's officials were digging up the floor of a Lomita restaurant on Tuesday, looking for the remains of the owner's wife, who went missing 16 months ago.

The search comes a day after the man was booked on suspicion of murder. David Viens, 47, was arrested at a hospital, where he was recovering from injuries after jumping off an 80-foot cliff last week.

Viens jumped off a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes while being chased by deputies. Investigators began focusing on Viens after the disappearance of his wife, Dawn Viens, 39, who went missing after walking away from the eatery.

Authorities are being aided by a cadaver-sniffing dog, according to Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.Dawn Viens "We are excavating parts of the restaurant," he said. "We expect to be there for some time."

Whitmore said the investigation into the woman's disappearance led them to the well-known eatery, Thyme Contemporary Cafe.


Man suspected of killing wife attempts suicide by jumping off cliff

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

Man who jumped off cliff to be arrested on suspicion of missing wife's murder, official says

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Dawn Viens. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department