UTAH Police resume landfill search for wife's body
A citizen witness said Hacking told him he killed his wife.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- 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 dumped her body in a trash bin, according to a court document filed by prosecutors.
The tip, coupled with another from a neighbor and evidence of a possible crime, are leading officers to believe that they'll eventually find the remains of Lori Hacking in a county landfill.
Their methodical search through 3,000 tons of trashed resumed Tuesday night with the help of cadaver dogs that had been away -- some on assignment, others on time off.
The digging started within days of a July 19 police report from Mark Hacking about his wife's disappearance.
The citizen's statement, contained in a police affidavit released Tuesday by prosecutors, said Hacking made the comment at a psychiatric ward. Until his arrest Monday, Mark Hacking had been in the ward since police found him naked outside a hotel the night after his wife's reported disappearance.
Another tip came from a neighbor who said someone might have used his trash bin to dispose of a body. The neighbor based that conclusion on a foul-smelling liquid in the bottom of the bin after the trash was collected the day the woman was reported missing.
The witness told investigators Hacking confided to him July 24 during a communitywide search for his wife that drew thousands of volunteers.
The affidavit also states 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.
The affidavit 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.
Police have said Hacking was buying a mattress less than 20 minutes after he first called them 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, it was 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.
A judge set Hacking's bail Tuesday at $500,000, Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom said.
Hacking's attorney, D. Gilbert Athay, did not return a phone message.
Yocom said he still is reviewing the case and asked police to conduct more witness interviews.
The prosecutor 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.
Yocom declined to say whether he would seek the death penalty, but did say the wishes of the victim's family are given great weight in such decisions.
There also is a question whether the circumstances of the case would support a capital homicide charge. Yocom would not address the strengths of the case.
However, Lori Hacking had told friends she was five weeks' pregnant, based on a home pregnancy test.
If her body is found and the pregnancy is confirmed, prosecutors could add an additional murder charge, which might provide one of the possible aggravated circumstances required for capital homicide.