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Chris Bergin, Deseret Morning News
People line the pond in Memory Grove Park during the candlelight vigil Sunday night to express concern for Lori Hacking.

The glow of more than 100 candles reflected into the pool at Memory Grove Park Sunday night as thoughts and prayers were voiced for Lori Hacking and her family.

"It's amazing to see all those who have come to search for her. And most of you don't even know her," said Rebecca Carroll, Hacking's longtime friend.

The candlelight vigil, marked by a moment of silence, drew more than 100 members of the community, family and friends.

Carroll and Holly Thomas encouraged people to continue volunteering in the search for Hacking who disappeared a week ago, reportedly while jogging in the Memory Grove area. Repeated searches of the area have turned up no real clues as to the 27-year-old pregnant woman's whereabouts.

Also Sunday, an eyewitness who police said had seen her stretching before her jog at 5:45 a.m. has since said she was never certain the jogger, who was already in midstride, was Lori.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the volunteer army of nearly 1,500 that reinvigorated the search.

"I'm totally flabbergasted," said Chris Smart, who has coordinated much of the search activity since Tuesday.

The surge in activity was due in part to a plea from ecclesiastical leadership from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stake presidents from the Orem area, where Lori Hacking grew up and where her mother continues to live, shortened church services and called upon members to give of their time. Large waves of searchers arrived at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, volunteer coordinator Joanne Goff said.

Search efforts Sunday included revisiting several areas of hills and canyons above the Utah Capitol building, as well as door-to-door neighborhood searches, some industrial areas in South Salt Lake, several south valley trailheads and canyons, and areas west of the Salt Lake City International Airport. For a brief time Sunday some of the hill and canyon searches were scaled back when thunderclouds threatened, Smart said.

Since her disappearance, much attention has focused on Lori's husband, Mark Hacking, whose unusual behavior and lies to friends and family about his life have raised numerous questions for Salt Lake City police.

Mark Hacking, 28, had originally told police he and his wife were ready to move to North Carolina, where he planned to attend medical school. But it turned out he had never graduated from the University of Utah nor applied to medical schools.

And the night after Lori's disappearance, a nearly naked Mark Hacking was picked up by police on the grounds of the Chase Suites Hotel after a disturbance. He has since been admitted to a psychiatric unit at the University of Utah and is undergoing mental health treatment, his family has said.

Questions also surround the sequence of events which Mark Hacking reported to police. He first said he learned his wife had not showed up at work about 10 a.m. Monday. Yet a mattress store shopkeeper says Mark Hacking was in his establishment at that time and bought a new mattress at 10:23 a.m. Twenty-six minutes later, Mark Hacking was in Memory Grove, calling police.

Relatives of both Lori and Mark Hacking on Sunday tried to dispel any rumors about a weakening in the the united front they have presented.

"We have been united from the beginning, and we will continue to be united. We draw great strength from one another," Lori's mother, Thelma Soares said. "We love Mark as if he were our own son and the Hackings love Lori as if she were their own daughter. If anything, this tragedy has brought us closer together."

Soares also said that after a week of intense involvement with the news media, they had appointed a joint spokesman and were withdrawing to focus their energy on finding Lori.

Salt Lake City Police had no new developments to report in the case Sunday, although department spokesman detective Dwayne Baird fielded numerous questions about the validity of reports that police had found a bloody knife with strands of hair attached to it and other traces of blood inside Mark and Lori Hackings' apartment.

Baird said the department will not comment on anything considered "evidentiary," nor was he specific about whether investigators are making progress in the case. He also declined to talk about a timetable for results from any forensic tests being employed.

"What we do in law enforcement is very methodical, so we're going through everything as time permits and as we are allowed simply because we want to make sure that we carefully extract any information that we can from any source or evidence we gather," Baird said. "We're not putting anything on any time line and we're not talking about progress. We think that everything we do is progressive in the case."

Baird could not say when police last questioned Mark Hacking, who is the only one thus mentioned as being a "person of interest" to police, and deflected a question about whether an arrest was imminent.

"I'm not going to speculate on any arrests one way or another," he said.

Like family members, Baird tried to keep the focus on what he said was "the very most important part of this case, that is that we bring Lori back."

Sunday's vigil for Lori was arranged in part by Carroll and Thomas. Close to her since the three attended Canyon View Junior High School, Orem, they have been looking for their friend during the past week.

"I want to say, as I was watching you pass the flames from one person to the next person, it occurred to me that's how Lori lived her life," Thomas said, meaning her kindness was passed from person to person.

The two women stood in front of Lori's mother, who held a candle and watched the event tearfully.

After the vigil, Jayne Roberts, who is Mark Hacking's aunt, said, "I thought it was nice. It was short and sweet."

Roberts added, "We've known Mark for 28 years. We love him, we're praying for him and Lori."

John Collins, Mark Hacking's cousin, said, "It was amazing — the support of the community."

Those at the vigil wore orange and yellow ribbons. Material for the ribbons was donated by the people who made ribbons in the search for Laci Peterson, the pregnant California woman who was reported missing and was later found dead with the corpse of her new-born son.

One man attending the vigil, Jerin Yu, said he does not have a theory about what happened to the woman. "We live down the road from here. It's home," he said.

Yu said he doesn't believe there's anything particularly bad about the neighborhood. "To me, it shows how bad stuff is everywhere," he said.

Rebecca Johnson said she traveled to Salt Lake City with about 25 other people from her LDS singles ward in Orem to attend the vigil.

Mark Hacking's father was her pediatrician when she was a child, she said. "I want to support the family, let them know we care and they are in our prayers," she added.

Carroll did not want to pass judgment on Mark Hacking. "I think right now we need to focus on her and not on Mark," she said.

Thomas said that she last heard from Lori the Saturday before she disappeared, when she received an e-mail with her new address in North Carolina.

"I'm still kind of numb," Thomas said. "It's starting to sink in."

Search efforts will continue again today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to come to the search center at 142 W. 200 North.


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