Wed, August 4, 2004

Wife slain in her sleep?

THE HUSBAND of a missing pregnant woman told a "reliable citizen witness" in the psychiatric ward that he killed his wife as she slept and then threw her body in a trash bin, according to a court filing. The document, released yesterday by the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department, also says investigators found human blood on a knife in the bedroom of Mark Hacking's apartment and on their bed's headboard and a bedrail.

Blood found in the bedroom matched traces of blood found in Lori Hacking's car, according to the statement.


Mark Hacking was arrested Monday on a charge of aggravated murder, two weeks after he reported her missing. He has not been formally charged.

Lori Hacking, an assistant stockbroker, has not been seen since late on July 18. Mark told family, friends and police the next day that she failed to return from a morning jog at a park near downtown.

Investigators believe the 27-year-old woman was killed in the couple's apartment and that her body is buried somewhere in tonnes of trash at the county landfill. Searches using dogs were to resume tonight.

Investigators focused on Hacking after learning he was at a store buying a new mattress just before reporting his wife missing.

Authorities were later seen removing a box spring from the couple's apartment. According to the court filing, police found a mattress in a trash bin near the Hackings' apartment that matched the serial numbers of the box spring. The statement did not say whether there was blood on the mattress.

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.


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.

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.

Lori had told friends that she was five weeks pregnant, but police said she had not confirmed a home pregnancy test with a doctor. If her body is found and the pregnancy is confirmed, prosecutors could add another murder charge.