Former Holmes Beach resident Dave Viens has been arrested and charged with murdering his wife in Los Angeles County.
The arrest follows two bizarre weeks in which police say Viens tried to kill himself by jumping off a cliff after he found out authorities were going to charge him. Investigators are still trying to find the wife's body.
On Thursday, March 3, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed one count of first-degree murder against Viens, 43, in connection with the disappearance of his wife, 39-year-old Dawn, who was last seen Oct. 18, 2009, in Lomita, where the pair owned and operated a restaurant.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reports, investigators tried to contact Viens in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23 to arrest him. They identified his vehicle and followed it to a lighthouse where they observed him arguing with a woman identified as his girlfriend, Kathy Galvin. They ordered Viens to stop and he released the woman, ran and jumped off a cliff.
He was taken to a local hospital where he suffered extensive injuries, including broken hips and legs and internal injuries. He then went into a coma.
Police went to Viens' restaurant, Thyme Contemporary Café in Lomita on March 1 and used heavy equipment to dig out the concrete foundation, which Viens had installed following his wife's disappearance. On that same day, investigators interviewed Veins, "during which time Mr. Veins implicated himself in his wife's disappearance and murder," according to a sheriff's office report. The next day, the sheriff's office concluded that the body of Dawn Viens was not buried beneath the restaurant.
At one time, Dave and Dawn Veins owned Beach City Market in Bradenton Beach. They closed the restaurant in 2004, after Dave was arrested for dealing marijuana. He reportedly turned in his drug supplier, served a light sentence and the couple moved to California, where they opened Thyme Contemporary Café. The couple also ran a popular cafe and deli in Anna Maria on Pine Avenue in the early 2000s. The site housed a convenience store, a gas station and a marina, as well. Viens also operated a catering service out of the same location.