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Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Husband allegedly confesses to murder

August 4, 2004

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— 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. Searches using dogs were to resume tonight.

Mark Hacking, 28, has not been formally charged. A judge Tuesday set bail at $500,000 cash, Salt Lake County Dist. Atty. 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 communitywide search for his wife that drew hundreds of volunteers.

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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