Police: Hacking Confessed He Murdered Wife

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The husband of a missing pregnant woman told a "reliable citizen" witness at a psychiatric ward that he killed his wife as she slept and then threw her body in a trash bin, according to a court filing released Tuesday by prosecutors.

The police affidavit also says investigators found human blood on a knife in the bedroom of Mark Hacking's apartment and on the couple's headboard and bed rail.

Blood found in the bedroom matched traces of blood found in Lori Hacking's car, according to the probable-cause statement filed to keep Hacking in jail until he can be formally charged with murder.

Mark Hacking was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder, even though his wife's body has not been found. Lori Hacking has not been seen since late July 18. Her husband reported her missing the following day, saying she failed to return from a morning jog.

Investigators believe the 27-year-old woman was killed in the couple's apartment and that her body is buried somewhere in 3,000 tons of trash at the county landfill. Searchers with dogs were to resume the hunt Wednesday night.

Mark Hacking, 28, has not been formally charged. A judge Tuesday set bail at $500,000 cash, Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom said. His lawyer, D. Gilbert Athay, did not return a message from The Associated Press.

Authorities would not identify the "reliable citizen" informant at the hospital where Hacking was hospitalized after he was seen running around naked outside a motel just hours after making an emotional appeal on television for help in searching for his wife.

The witness told investigators Hacking confided to him July 24 — five days after he reported her missing and during a community-wide search for his wife that drew hundreds of volunteers.

The sworn affidavit from a homicide detective also said police found a mattress in a trash bin near the Hackings' apartment that matched the serial numbers of the box spring recovered from inside the apartment.

The condition of the old mattress was not described, but police have said Hacking was out buying a new mattress before searching for his wife.

Police also said they have a receipt that showed Mark Hacking was buying a mattress less than 20 minutes after he first called police to report his wife missing. He had told her co-workers that he found her car in a park and was there looking for her.

Days later, news organizations discovered that Hacking had lied about graduating from the University of Utah and lied about being accepted at a medical school in North Carolina, where the couple was to have moved within just days.

Lori Hacking's brother, Paul Soares, told "The Early Show" on CBS on Tuesday that the situation is unimaginable.

"It's been described as surreal and that's really how we feel: a situation that you just can't believe is happening," Soares said. "It does come as a shock to me because we did know Mark for so long. But, at the same token, you just don't know what someone's capable of."

At a news conference to explain how prosecutors would proceed, Yocom said he is still reviewing the case and asked police to conduct more witness interviews.

Yocom said he was uncertain he could file charges in the 72 hours required by law after Hacking's arrest and may ask the court for an extension.

Lori Hacking had told friends she was five weeks' pregnant, but police said she had not confirmed a home pregnancy test by visiting a doctor. If her body is found and the pregnancy is confirmed, prosecutors could add an additional murder charge.


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