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Attorney hired for husband of missing woman

Police call Mark Hacking 'person of interest' in case


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Lori Hacking

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- The family of a man whose wife has been missing since last week said Monday that an attorney has been hired to represent him.

Salt Lake City attorney Gilbert Athay will represent Mark Hacking, who has been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward since shortly after his wife disappeared.

Athay told CNN by phone that he had been retained by the Hackings on Thursday and has been visiting his client daily at the hospital.

Meanwhile, the search continued for Lori Hacking, who last contacted her mother in an e-mail message sent July 14 or 15. Dunaway said at a news conference that Lori asked her mother to take care of the couple's cat as they prepared to move to North Carolina.

Mark Hacking told police his wife never returned from an early morning jog July 20. Her car was found near the park where she often ran, and a witness reported seeing a woman fitting Lori's description stretching that morning in the same area.

Mark Hacking told police the couple recently found out Lori was pregnant, but Thelma Soares, Lori's mother, said her daughter had not told her the news.

Although authorities have not called Mark Hacking a suspect, they have labeled him a "person of interest" in his 27-year-old wife's disappearance.

Monday, two police technicians and a detective searched an empty trash container outside the hospital where Mark Hacking is a patient.

Police said Sunday that an arrest warrant could be issued in the case if forensic test results expected in the next few days confirm investigators' suspicions.

Saturday, police investigated the discovery of a clump of brown hair in a trash container near the store where Hacking, 28, is reported to have bought a mattress before reporting his wife's disappearance. A detective told CNN that someone called police and reported finding the hair at a car wash less than a block from the store.

Lori Hacking has brown hair.

Suspicion mounted against Mark Hacking when his family revealed Wednesday that he had lied about graduating from the University of Utah and being accepted at three medical schools in other states. He was checked into a psychiatric hospital Monday night.

Police last questioned him Wednesday but haven't since because they don't feel they're getting good information from him.

"As far as his telling us the truth, I think everybody has a question about his telling us the truth," said Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird.

"To go back and re-question him about the same issues when we don't feel that he's been truthful the first time, I'm not certain that that would do us any good," he told reporters Monday.

Police said last week they had learned that Mark telephoned friends around 10 a.m. Monday to say his wife was missing and, about 50 minutes later, telephoned police. During the interim, he bought a queen-size mattress, without a box spring.

On Thursday, police confiscated a box spring from the couple's apartment. Authorities also impounded Mark Hacking's car and searched the couple's apartment, and a trash container was removed.

Thousands of volunteers have searched the park where Lori's car was found and the neighborhood in which the couple lived.


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