Updated after the jump: Sheriff's officials say David Viens basically confessed. But they said there might not be any remains under the restaurant.

In the latest twist in the saga of missing L.A.-area woman Dawn Viens authorities overnight were digging inside a restaurant her husband owns. The search was for her body.

The focus at Thyme Contemporary Cafe in Lomita was in the back — including a patio and restroom.

Dawn Viens' sister told the Daily Breeze:

It is mind-boggling if we find her here and he has been coming here every day running his business with the knowledge she's buried here.

In spring the paper interviewed the suspect in the case, husband David Viens, who told the paper renovations to the restaurant, including plumbing work, were underway, hindering his ability to pay for a reward leading to information about his missing wife.

That was shortly after she disappeared.

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He jumped off a cliff near the Point Vicente Light House last week after the Breeze revealed that blood spatter in the couple's old home were leading them to consider the husband a person of interested in her case at the least. David Viens survived, was hospitalized and ultimately put in cuffs Monday as he recovered from internal injuries and broken bones.

His 39-year-old wife has been missing for 16 months. And he never reported that she was gone.

The Breeze says Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators also served search warrants on the nearby home of the suspect's mother, the Gardena plumbing business of his brother, and the residence of his girlfriend, where he's been staying.

David Viens was no saint.

He has a drug-trafficking conviction out of Florida on his record.

Update: According to a sheriff's statement …

… Investigators interviewed her husband, 43-year-old David Viens yesterday (Tuesday, March 1, 2011) during which time Mr. Viens implicated himself in his wife's disappearance and murder.

The restaurant dig didn't turn up anything, however:

Coroner's personnel have concluded that the body of Dawn Viens is not buried at the location.

First posted at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

LA Weekly