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Men say brother confessed to killing wife

SALT LAKE CITY -- Mark Hacking confessed to two older brothers that he killed his wife as she slept and then put the body in a trash bin, the men's father said yesterday.

Hacking, confronted with evidence that he had some involvement in his wife's disappearance and overwhelmed by the volunteer effort to find her, made the confession when his brothers Scott and Lance visited him at a psychiatric ward July 24, the father, Douglas Hacking, said.

"He decided the time was right -- he had better let authorities know what happened," Douglas Hacking said.

The details of the confession were disclosed yesterday in an interview of Scott Hacking in The Salt Lake Tribune.

The information was relayed to police through an intermediary July 25.

Douglas Hacking said he thought Mark Hacking had a psychological breakdown because his wife apparently learned of his lie about getting accepted to medical school. Both Scott and Douglas are physicians, and the father has said Mark probably felt pressure by the achievements of his brothers.

Mark Hacking, 28, called police July 19 and said his wife had failed to show up for work after going for an early morning jog.

He was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder as he was about to be released from the psychiatric ward where he had been since he was found naked outside a hotel July 20.

Police think that three days before she vanished, Lori Hacking learned that her husband had not been enrolled in a medical school in North Carolina; the couple had been packing to move there. It also was discovered that he had lied about graduating from the University of Utah.

Scott Hacking, 33, said he was aware that his brother, if convicted, could face execution. But he said he hopes the information resolves the case.

Late yesterday afternoon was the deadline for Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom to file formal charges, but a judge granted him an extension until Monday.

Yocom has declined to say whether he would seek the death penalty, but did say the wishes of the victim's family are given great weight.

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