Lori Hacking was reported missing on July 19, 2004. According to her
husband, Mark, she arose at about 5:30 a.m. and drove from her home
in Salt Lake City to a local park where she liked to jog. Mark said
he was expecting Lori, who was five weeks pregnant, to wake him upon
her return. But the 27-year-old brokerage house trading assistant
never came back and never showed up for work. The couple was getting
ready to move to Chapel Hill, N.C., where Mark told family and
friends he had recently been accepted to medical school.
But police soon learned that Mark, a psychiatric-ward orderly, had
never graduated from college or applied to medical school. On the
morning Lori vanished, he purchased a new mattress shortly before
reporting his wife's disappearance. On July 20, 2004, while search
teams scoured the area looking for Lori, Mark was admitted to a
psychiatric hospital after police found him running naked in sandals
by a motel near his home.
Lori's silver Chevrolet was found at the gates of Memory Grove Park,
the place where she allegedly took a sunrise run on the day she went
missing. Police used helicopters, cadaver dogs and infrared
binoculars in their search for the missing woman.
In the days after Lori's disappearance, more than 1,200 volunteers
took to the hills where she may have jogged, searching for any clues
that might help bring Lori home. On July 24, 2004, police discovered
a clump of brown hair in a car wash's trash bin less than a block
from the store where Mark purchased the new mattress.
Ed Smart, seen here at a July 22, 2004, news conference held by
Lori's family, is all too familiar with the pain of searching for a
loved one. Smart's daughter Elizabeth was missing for nine months
after being allegedly kidnapped by a homeless couple. Smart and his
family, who also reside in Salt Lake City, joined the Hacking
family's search for Lori.
Police affixed crime-scene tape to the door of Mark and Lori's Salt
Lake City apartment. Lori's coworkers told Associated Press
reporters that the trading assistant had been arranging for on-campus
housing at the University of North Carolina's medical school. On
Friday, July 16, 2004, her last day at work, her coworkers said she
left early and in tears after receiving a phone call from a campus
official, presumably informing her that Mark was not enrolled at the
school. Cops have since seized box springs, bedding and computers
from the Hacking home and impounded Mark's car.
Mark's parents, Janet and Douglas Hacking (far right), and Lori's
parents, Eraldo and Thelma Soares (left), kept a united front during
the search efforts. When Mark's deceptions came under scrutiny,
family members told reporters that they wanted to keep the focus on
finding Lori, not on Mark's behavior.
Janet Hacking and Thelma Soares, mothers of Mark and Lori,
participated in a moment of silence at a candlelight vigil held for
Lori at Memory Grove Park on Sunday, July 25, 2004.
Six days after Lori vanished, more than 3,000 volunteers turned out
to distribute fliers and search for the missing Utah woman. That
evening, they held candles and sat near the pond in Memory Grove
Park at a vigil for Lori. Two days later, police focused their
search efforts on a nearby landfill, using cadaver dogs at night in
the hopes of finding Lori's body.
Mark Hacking was arrested on Aug. 2, 2004, after his release from a
mental-health facility. Police claim Hacking confessed to his
brothers that he shot Lori the night before he reported her missing,
after a heated argument over his lies. He was charged with first-degree
murder of his wife, Lori.
Mark Hacking remained silent and looked puzzled during an Aug. 16,
2004, courtroom appearance in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a judge
scheduled a preliminary hearing date on charges of first-degree
murder and obstruction of justice. Though he now faces life in
prison, if Lori's body is found, the charge could be upgraded to
aggravated assault, which would make him eligible for the death
At a court appearance on Sept. 23, 2004, Hacking, seen here with his
lawyer, Gil Athay, waived his right to a preliminary hearing,
essentially acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to
support their charges.
Less than a week later, investigators turned up Lori's remains in
the landfill using her dental records. The remains were found among
trash that included newspapers dated July 16-19, the weekend she
disappeared. Investigators also found business envelopes from the
University of Utah Research Park area, where Mark Hacking worked.
Hacking pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 29, 2004.
On April 15, 2005, Hacking changed his plea to guilty as members of
the press looked on.
Hacking wiped away tears as he received a sentence from six years to
on June 6, 2005, for killing his wife Lori.