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Families Say Search Unnecessary Now

Families Say Search Unnecessary Now

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Police will be holding a press conference at 2 pm MDT SundaySALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The families of Mark and Lori Hacking issued a statement late Saturday saying Mark Hacking had provided information that makes a volunteer search for his missing wife unnecessary.

The statement asked volunteers to stop looking, but did not indicate what Hacking said.

Investigators said they had not yet heard from the relatives.

"If they've got information that's breaking, that's something we need to hear about," Salt Lake City Police Detective Phil Eslinger told The Associated Press late Saturday.

Eslinger said detectives were trying to arrange a meeting with the family members, but he could not confirm a report that relatives were headed to the Salt Lake police department.

Reached at his California home, Lori's father, Eraldo Soares, said he was unaware of any information coming from Mark Hacking about his daughter.

"I think it's crazy that they raise my hopes and chop me down," said Soares, who has complained bitterly in the past about a perceived lack of information from police. He said his updates on the case have come from reporters.

Police said they are planning a news conference for sometime Sunday.

Lori Hacking, 27, has been missing since July 19, when Mark Hacking told authorities that she failed to return from an early morning jog.

The organized search for Lori Hacking was called off by the families earlier this week, a decision they said was made out of concern for the volunteers' safety. The search had permeated neighborhoods, industrial areas and canyons near the park where Lori Hacking was said to have been jogging the morning she was reported missing.

But since that day, Mark Hacking's credibility has crumbled amid revelations that he lied to his wife about enrolling at medical school in North Carolina and about graduating from the University of Utah.

Mark Hacking, 28, was checked into a psychiatric ward by his family after being found outside, naked, a night after the search for his wife began.

Hacking, who has not been charged, became the police's sole focus after it was learned he was at a store buying a new mattress just before reporting his wife was missing. Authorities were later seen removing a box spring from the couple's apartment. Investigators have refused to confirm reports that they found a mattress in a nearby trash bin.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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