Police who had been picking through the trash for weeks in search of a clue to Hacking's whereabouts found her body in a landfill Friday afternoon. The state medical examiner's office used dental records to identify the remains, about six hours after they were discovered.
"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.
Hacking is believed to have been five weeks pregnant when she disappeared. Her husband, Mark Hacking (search), has been charged with her murder.
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 brought in garden rakes to comb through the trash. About 20 law enforcement found the remains on Friday.
A volunteer found the remains about 8:20 a.m. as searchers using rakes pored over an area not previously probed by cadaver dogs.
Mark Hacking was charged with killing her after he allegedly confessed to his brothers, while he was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit, that he shot his wife while she was sleeping and disposed of her body, the weapon and a mattress in a trash bin.
He is being held on $1 million bail at the county jail.
Searchers at the 550-acre landfill had concentrated their search on a football-sized stretch, going through compacted garbage 20 feet deep.
Police Chief Rick Dinse said the remains found "were not all intact."
The remains were found among trash that included newspapers dated July 16-19, the weekend Lori Hacking disappeared. They also found business envelopes indicating they were from the University of Utah Research Park area where Mark Hacking worked. That is also the area where prosecutors believe the husband dumped his wife's body in a trash bin.
Neither Mark Hacking's parents nor his lawyer immediately returned calls for comment.
Investigators' hopes of finding the body had diminished in recent weeks. The search of landfill had been tedious, with each day presenting searchers and dogs with 300 or more tons of trash to sort through.
"Landfill searches are historically unsuccessful," Dinse said. "Needle in a haystack may not even adequately describe it."
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.