Three weeks to the day since Mark Hacking called police to report his wife's disappearance, the 28-year-old Salt Lake City man awaits a murder charge—expected to be filed by 5 p.m. today—from his cell at the Salt Lake County Jail.
Hacking was arrested and booked into the jail's mental health unit on Aug. 2 based on evidence gathered in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife, Lori Hacking. On Sunday, he was moved from the unit, where he had been placed on suicide watch, to a maximum security pod.
He also was given visiting privileges, which officials said are scheduled to begin Thursday. Hacking remains held on $500,000 cash bail.
Third District Judge Anthony Quinn last Thursday granted prosecutors an extension of the deadline to file formal charges, after they said they needed more time to review evidence.
A murder charge could earn Mark Hacking a sentence of up to life in prison.
Capital murder charges could be filed if prosecutors can prove Lori Hacking was pregnant—or can prove other factors that would aggravate a murder charge—but that prospect is clouded by the failure so far to find a body.
Search crews aided by cadaver dogs finished a grueling five-day stint at the Salt Lake County landfill Sunday night after sifting through more than 3,000 tons of garbage where Lori Hacking is thought to be buried. The dogs will be allowed a few days rest before returning to the site, according to Salt Lake City police Detective Dwayne Baird.
Sunday marked the ninth day police have searched the landfill since shortly after learning of Lori Hacking's disappearance. She was last seen late Sunday night, July 18, with her husband at a Maverick gas station near the couple's Salt Lake City apartment.
Mark Hacking reported his wife missing around 10 a.m. the next morning, saying he had already begun searching for her. Witnesses and a credit card purchase receipt later placed him shopping for a new mattress at that time at a South Salt Lake furniture store.
Police and thousands of volunteers canvassed areas of the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding foothills in hope of finding Lori Hacking alive.
A probable cause statement filed by Salt Lake City police in connection with Mark Hacking's detention alleged that blood and a knife were found in the Hackings' apartment and that other blood evidence was found in the woman's car. The same document also alleged Hacking had confessed to a "citizen witness," to whom he admitted killing his wife in her sleep and disposing of her body in a Dumpster.
Mark Hacking's brother Scott told The Salt Lake Tribune that Mark admitted to the crime in statements to him and brother Lance on July 24.
A memorial service for Lori Hacking is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Windsor LDS Stake Center, 60 E. 1600 North in Orem. Lori Hacking's family asks that in lieu of flowers, mourners contribute to the Lori Hacking Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank or by mail to Thelma Soares, 1501 N. Canyon Road, Provo, UT, 84602.