SALT LAKE CITY – The following is a statement delivered by Thelma Soares, Lori Hacking's mother, on behalf of the Soares family:
My family and I are profoundly anguished to lose Lori, our precious daughter and sister. Our lives will never again be the same, and we will grieve for her and miss her until the day we die. But when that day finally arrives, we know with absolute certainty that she will be there with open arms to greet us, and our reunion as a family will be glorious. Until then, we know where she is and who watches over her.
To the wonderful Hacking family who has shared this double tragedy with us: May Heavenly Father strengthen you in the difficult days ahead. You know of our love for you.
To the Elizabeth Smart Family: You have been an unending source of guidance, support and love – both in organizing the volunteer search effort and on a very personal level.
To our dear extended family, kind neighbors, personal friends, churches, congregations, work colleagues, and multitudes of people near and far who have prayed for Lori and for us: God heard your prayers, and the comfort we derived from them has enabled us to endure this ordeal.
To the thousands of volunteers who have given your time to search for Lori: Your sacrifice and dedication have overwhelmed us.
To Lori’s many friends, former roommates, and work colleagues: Please know you are a part of our lives because Lori knew you and loved you. You are welcome in our homes.
To those who have sent or quietly slipped money into our hands or pockets: We are humbled by such generous caring. We consider these funds sacred, and every dollar that was not used to search for Lori will be used to establish a scholarship or other type of memorial to honor her name.
To all the mothers who have written your love to me personally, I thank you. We share a mother’s heart.
We thank all of the corporations and individuals who so generously donated goods and services.
We are truly grateful to the Salt Lake City Stake for offering us the use of its stake center as our search headquarters.
The letters and pictures written and drawn with crayons along with little handmade gifts sent to us from children have touched our hearts and strengthened our faith in the rising generation and the goodness of people everywhere.
We thank the Salt Lake City Police Department for their diligence in this investigation.
And finally, we especially thank the media who have kept Lori’s beautiful little face before the public and wept with us off camera.
Mere words cannot begin to express our gratitude to everyone. You hold a very special place in our hearts and always will God bless you all for your outpouring of love and support.
Now, please let us mourn for our little Lori in private.