Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune and CNN.com discussing the families' fax to Salt Lake media informing searchers their efforts can end based on information the families have received from Mark Hacking.
Salt Lake Tribune: Families call off search
Mark Hacking's information makes volunteers' help 'unnecessary,' they say
Friends and family talk about Mark and Lori Hacking, from their single days to their married lives. (SL Tribune, courtesy of Soares and Hacking family)The husband of Lori Hacking has provided information to family members that makes the volunteer search for her "unnecessary," according to a fax family members sent to news media late Saturday.
"At this time, the families ask that all efforts from volunteers cease and that anyone with information that they feel might be helpful contact the Salt Lake City Police Department directly," reads the fax, sent by the Soares and Hacking families.
Investigators said late Saturday that they have no idea what Mark Hacking had told his relatives.
"We were not aware of the developments before they sent the fax off to the media," said Detective Dwayne Baird.
Police have not talked to Mark Hacking—the sole "person of interest" in Lori Hacking's disappearance—for about a week and a half, Baird said.
Detectives met with family members to talk about the situation, but Baird said he would not comment about those discussions until later today.
Mark Hacking first reported his wife missing July 19, saying she never returned from a jog in City Creek Canyon. Police since have said they believe Lori Hacking, who was reportedly five weeks pregnant at the time, never went to the canyon that day. Investigators have focused their search on the Salt Lake County landfill, where they have spent four nights sifting through garbage picked up on July 19 with the help of cadaver dogs. The landfill search has been suspended the past three nights.
The fax from the families said relatives are "supportive of the police investigation."
The families called off the organized search, which involved more than 4,000 volunteers, last week, but had planned to conduct specialty searches with the help of all-terrain vehicles and planes before Saturday's developments.
Chris Pusey, who has known Lori Hacking, 27, since she was a child, reacted to the news with shock, saying he interpreted the statement to mean his childhood friend is now dead and that Mark Hacking was somehow involved.
"The Mark I knew couldn't have done something like that," he said.
Pusey has tried to prepare himself for such bad news in the past week, while at the same time holding out hope Lori Hacking would be found alive.
"From this statement, it doesn't sound that way," he said.
Saysha Nielson, who attends the same LDS ward as the couple, said she is glad Mark Hacking is "providing some information."
"I know it is bad to say, but in a way it is exciting because we are getting closer to finding out what happened," she said. "Apparently, it is on his shoulders somehow."
Mark Hacking, 28, has been in the psychiatric ward of University Hospital since July 20 following an incident at a Salt Lake City hotel, where he reportedly ran around almost completely naked.
Police focused on Mark Hacking early in the investigation and have uncovered a life full of lies. He never graduated from the University of Utah in psychology and never applied to medical school as his family believed. Mark and Lori Hacking were just days away from moving to North Carolina; he had told family he has been accepted to the medical school at Chapel Hill.
And the morning he said his wife disappeared, Mark Hacking told police he had run his wife's normal three-mile jogging route twice. Actually, he was at a South Salt Lake furniture store, buying a new mattress. Police seized a mattress from a Dumpster behind a church. They also recovered a small amount of blood, a knife and a box spring, along with bags of other evidence, from the Hackings' apartment. That evidence is now at the state crime lab undergoing analysis.
In the fax, the Hacking and Soares families also asked for privacy, saying all questions should be directed to Mark's attorney, Gilbert Athay. He declined to comment when reached at his home late Saturday.
The fax also said family members "are grateful to the many individuals who joined them on Friday in faith and prayers to help find Lori" and "are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received."
Missing woman's husband offers new information, family says
Police called off their search at the city's landfill late ThursdaySALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN)—The family of a missing Utah woman said her husband has given them information that makes the search for Lori Hacking unnecessary.
Mark Hacking, Lori's husband, remained hospitalized at the University of Utah Hospital's psychiatric ward where he was admitted after he reported his wife missing the morning of July 19.
A police official told CNN they have not talked to Hacking in several days.
Lori Hacking's parents and Mark Hacking's parents issued a joint statement Saturday evening asking "all efforts from volunteers cease" in the search.
"The families understand that Mark Hacking has provided information that makes it unnecessary for individuals or groups to continue the volunteer search," the written statement said.
The families' statement did not specify to whom Hacking has given new information.
Police called off their search at the city's landfill Thursday night after three days of searching with cadaver-sniffing dogs. Searchers were concentrating on a two-acre area for 10 days, moving around about 2,500 tons of garbage a day.
Thousands of volunteers searched the park where Lori Hacking's car was found and the neighborhood where the couple lived. Those searches were called off several days ago.
Mark Hacking told police his wife never returned from an early morning outing. He has told police the couple recently discovered she was pregnant.
Hacking has not been named as a suspect, but police have called him a "person of interest"—and said they have no other such persons.
The couple had been planning to move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Hacking had said he had been accepted to medical school at the University of North Carolina. But Hacking's family revealed last week that he had lied about medical school, and about graduating from the University of Utah.
Police have said an arrest warrant could be issued in the case if forensic test results confirm investigators' suspicions.
Police said last week that Mark Hacking telephoned friends around 10 a.m. June 19 to say his wife was missing. About 50 minutes later, he telephoned police. During the interim, he bought a queen-size mattress, without a box spring, police said.
Last week, authorities removed a box spring from the couple's apartment.
Police also investigated the discovery of a clump of brown hair in a garbage bin near the store where Hacking bought the mattress. A detective told CNN that someone called police and reported finding the hair at a car wash less than a block from the store. Lori Hacking has brown hair.
So far the families have maintained a united front, standing behind Mark Hacking as the search for Lori has continued. I wonder how long that will go on, and who will be the first to split away?
I'd be willing to bet Lori's father will be the first dissenting voice....