LOS ANGELES (AP) — A chef on trial for his wife's murder told sheriff's investigators that they couldn't find his wife's body because he had cooked it for four days in boiling water until little was left but her skull.
Los Angeles Superior Court jurors on Tuesday heard David Viens make the statements in a recorded interview with sheriff's investigators that was played in court during his murder trial.
"I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," Viens could be heard saying on the recording, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Viens gave detectives the interview as he lay in a hospital bed in March 2011, after leaping off an 80-foot (24-meter) cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes when he learned he was a suspect in the late 2009 disappearance of his wife, Dawn Viens, 39, whose body was never found.
Viens, whose injuries from the leap have him attending his trial in a wheelchair, said in the interview that he stuffed his wife's body in a 55-gallon drum of boiling water and kept it submerged with weights.
He said he mixed what remained after four days with other waste, dumping some of it in a grease pit at his restaurant in Lomita, and putting the rest in the trash.
He said the only significant thing left was his wife's skull, which he stashed in his mother's attic at her home in Torrance. But a search of the house turned up nothing, nor did an excavation of the restaurant.
On the recording played in court, sheriff's Sgt. Richard Garcia asked Viens what happened on Oct. 18, 2009, the night his wife disappeared.
"For some reason I just got violent," he said.