Letter Hints at Hackings' Marital Strife

A letter found in the apartment of a missing Salt Lake City woman suggests she was having marital problems with her husband, who is now accused of killing her.

"I hate coming home from work because it hurts to be home in our apartment," said the letter, excerpts of which were included in a police document released Wednesday. "I can't imagine life with you if things don't change. I got someone I don't know I want to spend the rest of my life with unless changes are made."

The document does not explicitly say who wrote the letter, but Mark Hacking's first name was written on the outside of the folded note. The warrant does not say whether the note was typed or handwritten.

In a 42-page affidavit, police revealed dozens of items seized from the couple's apartment, their vehicles and Mark Hacking's (search) workplace locker. Other items taken include a hunting knife, a piece of bloodstained carpet, a personal computer and a stained pillowcase retrieved from a trash bin outside the apartment.

Hacking has been charged with murder, accused of shooting his wife, Lori, after an argument provoked by her discovery that he had been lying about his college education and plans to enroll at a medical school. Prosecutors filed court documents detailing Hacking's confession to the slaying, made to his brothers when they visited him in a psychiatric ward.

An executive with a security-camera company said Wednesday that police were reviewing surveillance images from a hospital where they believe Mark Hacking dumped his wife's body in a trash container.

Justin Harryman, a vice president of FutureTech (search), said his company helped investigators review images taken by 16 motion-triggered video cameras at and around the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, where Hacking worked as an orderly.

It took police three hours to methodically review images from just one of the cameras, Harryman said.

"It's hard to say if it's him," said Harryman, who refused to elaborate.

It was not immediately known what the person on tape was seen doing. Police did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The body of Lori Hacking (search), 27, a stockbroker's assistant, is believed buried under tons of trash at a county landfill.

Her family placed an obituary in both Salt Lake City daily newspapers Wednesday, saying she "slipped into eternity" July 19. A memorial service is scheduled Saturday.

The obituary describes Mark Hacking as Lori's high school sweetheart. The couple were married Aug. 7, 1999.

Hacking, 28, told his brothers he shot Lori in the head as she lay sleeping, then put the body and a .22-caliber firearm in separate trash bins about 2 a.m. July 19, according to court documents.

He disposed of a mattress in another trash bin at a church, according to the documents. Police found the mattress but they lack Lori's body, the murder weapon, bed sheets and the mattress pillow top, which was cut off and may have been used to wrap the body.

Detectives discovered Lori's car keys and wallet in a purse at her apartment, even though her husband said she had driven her car to a city park for an early morning jog.

Her car was found at the park, and police said the driver's seat and mirrors had been adjusted for a large man. Lori Hacking (search), 5-foot-3 and barely 115 pounds, couldn't have reached the pedals or steering wheel in that seating position, the documents say.

Police also said that after Hacking reported his wife missing, he went to a store across town and bought a new mattress before going to the park to look for her.

"The police from Day One suspected Mark and have conducted their investigation as though he was the prime suspect," said Greg Skordas, a Salt Lake defense lawyer and former chief deputy district attorney.

Authorities believe Lori Hacking was killed after confronting her husband over his deceptions about his college education and plans to become a doctor. The couple were packing for medical school where, she had apparently just discovered, he wasn't enrolled.