Churchgoers join search for pregnant woman

CHURCHES cancelled meetings and services to allow hundreds of congregants to flood neighbourhoods and go door-to-door in search of a missing pregnant woman whose disappearance has baffled friends and neighbours.

More than 3,000 people turned out on Sunday to distribute fliers and join the search for Lori Hacking.

Later Sunday, about 200 people attended a candlelight vigil at a park where the woman’s car was found and where it had been presumed that she disappeared while jogging. The family has been holding as many as two news conferences a day since the 27-year-old was reported missing, but they have been reluctant to face reporters since questions arose about the credibility of Hacking’s husband, Mark.

“We are all exhausted and we feel we need to concentrate our efforts and our energies on finding Lori,” said Thelma Soares, Hacking’s mother.

Scott Dunaway, a leader in Soares’ church and the family’s spokesman, said they had learned little as far as new developments in the investigation.

A clump of brown hair was found Saturday in a trash bin at a gas station less than a block from the store where Mark Hacking bought a mattress before reporting his wife missing. But police say they don’t know whether the hair was Lori’s. Detective Dwayne Baird, a police spokesman, wouldn’t confirm or deny a Deseret Morning News report, citing unnamed sources, that a bloody knife with strands of hair was among items taken from the Hackings’ apartment.

Baird said police were waiting on test results from a search of the apartment and surrounding area.

Baird said Mark Hacking, 28, was still a “person of interest” in the case, but he would not elaborate.

Mark Hacking reported his wife missing just days before they were to move to North Carolina, where he had said he was going to attend medical school. But he had lied to his wife and family. He had not been accepted to any medical school and never even graduated from college.

He also had initially said his wife did not wake him up after coming home from an early morning jog, as usual, and never showed up to work. But police confirmed Friday that Mark Hacking was at a furniture store buying a new mattress just before reporting to police that Lori was missing.

He has been under psychiatric care since police found him Tuesday running naked around a motel not far from his home.

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