crimesider

Dawn Viens Update: Calif. man who survived leap from cliff to be held in wife's killing

Dawn Viens has been missing for nearly a year after last being seen Oct 18 leaving the restaurant she owned with her husband. David Viens never reported her missing, claiming she left him after refusing to go to rehab. lacrimestoppers.org

Dawn Viens has been missing or nearly a year
Dawn Viens
lacrimestoppers.org

(CBS/AP) RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. - David Viens, a Southern California man who jumped off a cliff after learning that he's a suspect in his wife's disappearance was in an induced coma Thursday, a day after he broke several bones in the 80-feet plunge, authorities said.

Viens, 47, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives said.

Authorities expect to file murder charges, possibly as soon as next week.

Viens, whose wife Dawn has been missing for 16 months and is presumed dead, evaded deputies and jumped down an embankment Wednesday in Rancho Palos Verdes. That day's edition of the Daily Breeze reported that investigators recently found blood spatter on the walls inside the couple's former home in Lomita.

The newspaper reported that Dawn Viens, who was last seen Oct. 18, 2009, was believed to be the victim of a homicide. Investigators said David Viens told friends his wife took a Louis Vuitton bag and walked away when he demanded she go to drug rehabilitation. He never reported her missing.

Sheriff's deputies went looking for David Viens after he was identified as a person of interest in the case. When they spotted Viens in his sport utility vehicle, he led them on a chase that ended when he pulled into a parking area near the edge of the cliff.

Viens got out of the vehicle along with his passenger, girlfriend Kathy Galvin. The two struggled, and when the deputies ordered the pair to separate Viens broke away, hopped a chain-link fence and jumped.

  • Edecio Martinez

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.