Husband of Missing Utah Woman Is Arrested

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Yahoo News

Missing Utah Woman's Husband Arrested

By MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY - From the day Lori Hacking disappeared, police never referred to her husband as anything other than a "person of interest" — even as the lies he told relatives unraveled and his psychological condition deteriorated. Authorities finally closed in, arresting Mark Hacking on one count of murder in the death of his pregnant wife even though they haven't found her body.

He was picked up Monday before his scheduled release from a psychiatric ward at the University of Utah Hospital and denied bail.

"We've actually been ready to make the arrest, probably could have made it sooner had he been released from the hospital sooner," said Police Chief Rick Dinse, adding that Hacking's 13-day hospitalization gave detectives more time to conduct their investigation.

Lori Hacking, 27, an assistant stockbroker, has not been seen since late July 18. Mark Hacking reported her missing the following day, telling family, friends and police she failed to return from a morning jog at a park near downtown.

Cracks soon emerged in his timeline, and police later said it was likely Lori never made it to the park. "We believed very early in the investigation that she may have been a victim of a crime, and her husband may have been responsible," said Dinse.

Investigators believe Lori Hacking 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 in the last two weeks have not turned up the body. That effort was to resume Wednesday night, when the weather is cooler and after the dogs have had a chance to rest up from last week's searches.

Mark Hacking, 28, was being held on one count of aggravated murder. Prosecutors have 72 hours to file formal charges, but they could ask for an extension, if necessary. He was being held without bail and is on a suicide watch.

Detectives identified a motive and have found the weapon that killed Lori Hacking, Dinse said. He declined to elaborate.

Both Dinse and the Salt Lake County district attorney's office said failure to find the body would not keep the case against Hacking from proceeding, though there are questions how they would show aggravating circumstances, such as killing for personal gain or to elude arrest, or carrying out the crime in an exceptionally heinous manner.

Lori Hacking had told friends that 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, Dinse said. That might satisfy the condition for aggravated circumstances.

While thousands of friends and volunteers had turned out to search for the missing woman, police already were investigating her husband and searching the couple's apartment.

Police were seen removing a box spring — but no mattress — from the apartment. They refused to confirm that they had seized an old mattress from a nearby trash bin but later asked people to stop giving them tips on old mattresses.

On the morning that Hacking reported his wife had disappeared, police have said, he was buying a mattress even though he told friends and authorities he had been searching her jogging route.

Two 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.

Mark Hacking was hospitalized after he was seen running around naked outside a motel where he had taken a room, hours after making an emotional appeal on television for help in searching for his wife.

"My family and I are profoundly anguished to lose Lori, our precious daughter and sister," Lori Hacking's mother, Thelma Soares, said Monday through a spokesman. "Our lives will never be the same, and we will grieve for her and miss her until the day we die."

Soares also reached out to the Hacking family, saying: "You know of our love for you."

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

CWSMACKDOWN

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Not to take away from this horrific crime, but I happened to think of something when ready this story.

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
If her body is found and the pregnancy is confirmed, prosecutors could add an additional murder charge[/b]
If he can be charged with an additional murder charge for the unborn child, then why is abortion legal? Some things just don't make sense.
 

BDB

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Probably in the semantics of the woman has the right to choose. If it turns out he killed her and she was pregnant, she really didn't get to choose.

From the first time I heard of this story I wondered if he really was mentally ill or was it a plan from the start to get off on the charges if caught. Maybe I'm just being too cynical, maybe not.
 
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