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Ross Williams, Mark’s Friend: "Mark Hacking has been the best friend I could have ever asked for. He's a man of God and he's a man of service and he's full of love."
We're learning a little more today about why Mark Hacking lied to everyone regarding his acceptance to medical school. Hacking's parents were with him all night and they talked about his deception. They say the lies started a few years ago.
Douglas Hacking, Mark's Father: “He has two older brothers who are high achievers, physician and electrical engineer, and he felt he had some pressure to excel as well."
Lance Hacking, Mark's Brother: "The hardest thing for us beyond the initial disbelief was we had a son who was suffering something and we didn't have an opportunity to help, he wasn't allowing us to do that."
His dad says Mark is relieved the deception has finally come to an end, like lifting a load off his back.
Thelma Soares: “My reaction is this can't be the truth. It's some cruel hoax. It was just stunning news for all of us. And heartbreaking because we just love Mark so much and I have so many questions why he thought he needed to do this."
Both Lori and Mark's families are defending Mark today. His brother says they understand people are now skeptical of him, but they say they're not concerned because Mark treated Lori wonderfully.
Hereld Soares, Lori's Father: "I saw him open doors, at one point I saw him bring a little flower, little things you get on the grass. He gave it to her."
Lance Hacking: “If you wanted somebody, if you wanted someone to be a gentle, loving husband, that was the Mark that we know, that is the Mark that we see every day. I love him and I don't have any doubts about him. I know that once Lori is found, that everything will be solved."
The families have said Lori's conversations and actions indicated she believed she was moving to North Carolina. But her father says even if she found out that Mark had been lying, she was a person who always tried to help make things better.
Hereld Soares: "If I were to take a guess, I don't think she was mad at him, she would say, ‘Okay, I wish he told me a long time ago. But let's see if we can make our lives. You don't have to be a doctor.’ Cause she was that type of person."
Lori Hacking's close friend and running partner, is speaking out for the first time since Lori disappeared. Lori Hacking and Elizabeth Read worked together at Wells Fargo, and ran together, usually at Memory Grove.
The two would run three or four times a week in the evenings after work, and in the mornings on the weekend. Lori did not tell her friend she was going for a jog on Monday, but Read says that's not unusual -- she says Lori would occasionally run in the morning.
Read last saw Lori on Friday, three days before Lori disappeared. She, Lori and Mark spent time together on a drive to a company farewell party for Lori in the Uintas, Friday night. Read says Lori left work early that day, but seemed happy. She believes Lori would have confided in her had anything been wrong. Just the night before, Lori shared with Read the good news that she was pregnant.
Elizabeth Read: "She called me about 10:00 in the evening and told me that she had taken a test and that she was excited." She says Lori was excited about moving to North Carolina and Read bought her a book about the state as a gift. Read doesn't believe that Lori knew Mark had not applied to medical school. The two, she says, had looked for a place to live there.
Read didn't know Mark well, but says Mark and Lori had a loving relationship. She says there isn't enough information to know whether Mark is involved in Lori's disappearance. She hopes people will just focus on finding her friend.