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DA: Hacking allegedly admitted killing wife

Witness: He 'killed Lori while she was asleep'

Salt Lake City police released this photo of Hacking after his arrest on Monday.
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KSL radio host Doug Wright discusses the latest developments.
Salt Lake City (Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- The husband of a missing Salt Lake City woman told a "reliable citizen witness" in a psychiatric unit that he killed his wife while she slept and tossed her body in a garbage bin, the Salt Lake County district attorney said Tuesday.

Prosecutor David Yocom told reporters the alleged confession was made at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, where Mark Hacking worked as an orderly in the psychiatric ward.

Hacking, 28, was admitted to the unit shortly after reporting his 27-year-old wife, Lori, missing on July 19.

"I have no idea what his mental status is," Yocom said about the alleged witness.

A search for Lori Hacking's body was to resume Wednesday at a landfill where dogs trained to find bodies will help sift through the estimated 3,000 tons of garbage.

Police filed an amended probable cause statement with a court Tuesday that spelled out in greater detail their reasons for arresting Mark Hacking at the hospital Monday as he was being discharged.

Yocom said the amended statement was requested by the court so Hacking could be held longer than 72 hours.

"We want to make a thorough review of the case before we make a decision as to what [charges] to file," Yocom said, "and if it takes longer than 72 hours, we'll ask for an extension, which is not unusual."

The alleged report from the witness was included in the probable cause statement.

Yocom said according to the witness, "He killed Lori while she was asleep in bed and disposed of her body in a Dumpster."

Blood, videos and paper trail

In the statement, police also say they found blood on a knife in the couple's bedroom, on the bed's backboard and on its railing, and in Lori Hacking's car, which was found in a park where Hacking said his wife was jogging the morning she disappeared.

The blood in the car matched blood found in the apartment, police said.

A judge set bail for Mark Hacking at $500,000 cash, Yocom said. Hacking is being held on suspicion of one count of aggravated murder.

Authorities also released a video Tuesday of Hacking early on the morning of the July 19 -- before Lori was reported missing -- that shows him entering a Maverik Country Store to buy a tin of Camel Lime Twist cigarettes.

During the transaction, Mark can be seen checking his hands.

The video then shows him driving away in his wife's car, which he later told police he found at the park.

The store also has another video of Mark and Lori Hacking taken at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the day before her disappearance, but it has not decided whether to make it public.

In the probable cause statement filed Tuesday, police also noted that:

  • The tag on the mattress police retrieved from a garbage bin outside the Hackings' apartment building matched the tag on the box springs inside their apartment.
  • A sales receipt from Bradley Sleep Center showed that Mark Hacking bought a mattress there at 10:23 a.m., shortly after Hacking called police to report his wife missing. At 10:46 a.m., Hacking called police again to tell them he had found her car at the park.
  • 'Profoundly anguished' family

    Thelma Soares, Lori Hacking's mother, said through a spokesman Monday that her family was "profoundly anguished" by the turn of events.

    Calling Lori "our precious daughter and sister," the family's statement said, "Our lives will never be the same, and we will grieve for her and miss her until the day we die.

    "To the wonderful Hacking family, who has shared this double tragedy with us, may heavenly father strengthen you in the difficult days ahead."

    Hacking had told police the couple recently discovered she was pregnant, but Soares said her daughter had not told her that news.

    The couple had been planning to move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Hacking said he had been accepted to medical school at the University of North Carolina.

    Hacking's family revealed last week that he had lied about the medical school acceptance and about earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah.

    Both families are described as devout Mormons. A member of Hacking's family said the couple often went to hospitals to read Mormon scriptures to the sick.

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