Mark Hacking and Lori Soares were high school sweethearts. They had a very loving and almost perfect relationship. Mark was affectionate and caring and Lori was practical and private. A combination that worked nicely together.
The couple got married in a Mormon temple on August 7, 1999. They went on to make a life for themselves in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lori worked at a brokerage house, Wells Fargo, and Mark was working as a night-shift orderly at a psychiatric hospital while he attended college.
Mark recently graduated from the University of Utah with honors and had been accepted into medical school. The couple planned to move cross-country so that Mark could attend college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They also had just found out that Lori was five weeks pregnant. Life seemed to be coming together even more for them.
Well, it was until Lori Hacking went missing.
Around 10 a.m. the day Lori went missing, Mark placed a call to his wife’s office and spoke to one of her co-workers. Mark asked, “By the way, how is Lori?” in which the co-worker replied that she hadn’t made it to work yet. Mark mentioned that Lori’s work clothes were still at home so the co-worked told him to call police immediately.
Mark, however, did not call the police immediately. Instead he went to Bradley’s Sleep Etc and bought a new mattress and a couple pillows, the credit card transaction went through at 10:23 a.m but he was in the store at 9:45 a.m.
So he was already in the store when he made the call to his wife’s work to see how she was doing. Friends of the couple have also said that he called them around that time too, to discuss her disappearance and to tell them that he had already ran his wife’s usual jog TWICE- which is three miles each way..
Mark then drove to the park where Lori often went for runs. When he arrived, three of Lori’s coworkers were already there. They told him that they had already placed a call to the police to report Lori missing. He then made his own call to police.
At 10:49 a.m on July 19, 2004, Mark Hacking called 9-1-1 to report his wife Lori missing. Mark told the police that Lori had not returned home from her routine sunrise jog at Memory Grove Park and she had not shown up to work either.
Mark then aimlessly “searched” for his wife, walking around and “pondering”. He then abandoned Lori’s coworkers to go off on his own. He went and sat in his SUV with an address book on his lap and made calls, apparently to relatives.
He was seen on the news pleading for the return of his wife and urging everyone to help him look for her. He seemed heartbroken and distraught.
“It’s hard because when I’m searching I’m not looking for somebody sitting on a rock or walking around. I know I’m searching for someone who is hurt.”-Mark is quoted saying in an interview the day his wife went missing. Suspicious.
Later that night, the same night his wife disappeared, Mark was seen running around naked at the Chase Suites Hotel. When officers realized who he was they took him to the University Neuropsychiatric Institute, where he was admitted as a patient. Family said he was being hospitalized for stress.
“He kept his shoes on – his sandals – that’s not something we see in someone who is truly psychotic.”Candace DeLong, who was an FBI profiler for 20 years
Detectives found Lori’s car at Memory Grove Park, where she had gone for her morning jog, but at her apartment they found her keys and purse with her wallet in it. The seat in her car was also adjusted to a seating position that would have made it impossible for Lori to be the last one to drive it.
They found blood in the couple’s apartment, including on a knife located in the bedroom and spatter on the headboard of their bed. They also found blood in Lori’s car.
When the police checked in with the University of North Carolina and the University of Utah, they were in total shock when they were told that he wasn’t enrolled at Chapel Hill and they had no record of him.
Mark hadn’t even graduated college. He FAKED it all.
On the night of July 18, the night before she went missing, investigators said that Lori discovered that virtually everything that Mark told her about his background was a lie. She learned that he never graduated from U of U and never even applied to medical school. She wrote Mark a note telling him that she planned to leave him. Rather than risk divorce, he killed her with a .22 caliber rifle while she was asleep in bed. He then disposed of her body in a dumpster.
Mark was seen on video surveillance entering a Maverick County Store to buy cigarettes, checking his hands and fingers and then driving away in his wife’s car approximately “18 minutes after the time police believe Lori died,” CNN stated in an August 4, 2004 article. Mark was also seen on video surveillance disposing of his wife’s body in the dumpster of the psychiatric hospital he worked at, and he disposed of the bloody mattress in a dumpster at a neighborhood church. There is also video of him driving her car to the park, where he initially said she had gone missing.
On August 2, 2004, Mark was arrested on suspicion of the aggravated murder of his wife. First degree murder charges were filed against him on August 9.
A month after Mark’s arrest, on October 1, 2004, searchers found two teeth and a piece of bone the size of a quarter in a landfill- which were identified as Lori’s by that afternoon. They also found the carpet that Mark said he wrapped her body in before placing her in the dumpster.
On October 29, 2004, Mark pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Nearly six months later, on April 15, 2005, Mark pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for dropping other charged. He was sentenced six years to life in prison on June 6, 2005. The Utah Board of Pardons declared that he will not receive a parole hearing until 2035, meaning he has to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.
On March 20, 2006, “Lori’s Law” was signed into law. It increases the minimum penalty for a person convicted of first degree murder in Utah to fifteen years to life in prison.