SALT LAKE CITY – The body of a young Utah woman allegedly killed by her husband has turned up in a landfill that police had been searching since her disappearance in late July. The state medical examiner's office used dental records to identify Lori Hacking's (search) remains about six hours after they were discovered Friday.
"It means everything to us to find Lori's mortal remains so that we might lay them to rest with dignity," Hacking's parents, Eraldo and Thelma Soares, said in a statement.
The discovery came on the 33rd working day of a search of 4,600 tons of garbage. Over the past weeks, investigators used cadaver dogs and garden rakes to comb through the trash.
Hacking, a 27-year-old assistant stock broker, had not been seen since July 18. Her 28-year-old husband, Mark Hacking (search), reported her missing the following day, saying she never returned from a morning jog.
Authorities believe Lori Hacking was killed after she learned her husband was not enrolled in medical school in North Carolina, even though they were packing to move there. It was the latest in a series of deceptions perpetuated by the husband over several years, police say.
While Mark Hacking was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit, he allegedly confessed to his brothers that he shot his wife while she was sleeping and disposed of her body, the weapon and a mattress in a trash bin. He was charged with murder and jailed on $1 million bail.
The search was called off Friday, even though police have not found a .22-caliber gun they believe was the murder weapon.
"We were confident we could go forward with the case without a body, and now we have the body," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Stott (search).
Mark Hacking's attorney, Gil Athay, did not return calls Friday from The Associated Press.
The remains were found among trash that included newspapers dated July 16-19, the weekend Lori Hacking disappeared. Investigators also found business envelopes indicating they were from the University of Utah Research Park area where Mark Hacking worked and where prosecutors believed he dumped the body in the trash.
Police Chief Rick Dinse said the remains found "were not all intact."
Mark Hacking's father, Douglas Hacking, issued a statement saying, "We hope today's discovery will begin to bring closure to both our family and the Soares families in this tragic event."