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LA police suspect Viens is dead

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

Authorities suspect a former Anna Maria Island woman who disappeared in October 2009 is dead after finding blood splatter in her bedroom.

Dawn Marie Viens, who would be 40, disappeared from Lomita, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2009.

Recently investigators found blood in the home she had shared with husband David Viens.

After that discovery, and with authorities now identifying him as a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance, David Viens, 47, jumped from a 100-foot cliff following a high-speed police chase to the coast.

As of Islander press time, he remained in critical condition after being flown by a helicopter to the hospital.

The Viens lived on Anna Maria Island several years ago. They owned a home in Holmes Beach and operated the Beach City Market in Bradenton Beach.

In 2005, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office led a raid at the market and home.

David Viens was arrested Jan. 6, 2005, on suspicion of marijuana possession with intent to sell or distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of opium and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also was arrested on suspicion of trafficking marijuana.

Dawn Viens, at the time, described her husband to law enforcement as a “middle dealer,” according to newspaper archives.

On April 5, 2005, the state attorney dropped all the charges.

In Los Angeles County, the Viens had been operating Thyme Contemporary Cafe for less than a year before Dawn Viens disappeared.

Dawn Viens was last seen leaving the cafe, according to the sheriff’s department.

She did not take her car or more than $600 in cash she had asked a friend to hold.

David Viens told authorities he told his wife to leave home after she refused to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program.

The Viens’ home was examined by a forensics team after David Viens and a girlfriend moved to a new residence.

Sheriff’s detectives told the local newspaper, the Daily Breeze, that the experts “located blood splatter inside the location” and DNA tests were being conducted.

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