This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The rocky ground was slipping under his feet, but Tom Longaker was determined not to let any sign of his friend slip between his fingers.
"Hopefully, we'll look close enough and we'll find something that can help people find her," said Longaker, who was among the first volunteers who mustered at Salt Lake City's Memory Grove Park to search for 27-year-old Lori Hacking.
Hacking, a pregnant jogger who failed to return from her usual three-mile run in City Creek Canyon, just north of the park, on Monday, "is a real kindhearted person, just a sweet girl," said Longaker, who attended church with the missing woman.
Longaker's glowing description was echoed by friends and family members, but it mattered little to more than 1,000 others who joined the search effort. Though most didn't know Hacking, some said just knowing she needed help was enough.
"We've all got children and grandchildren of our own," said Larry Montano, who ascended a steeply sloping hill and crawled through dense and thorny brush that rings the Memory Grove and canyon area. "It could be any one of them, and we would want people to come and help search like this."
The community response overwhelmed members of the missing woman's family.
''To know that all these people came over here to help us . . . made me feel so good," said Hacking's father, Herald Soares of Fullerton, Calif. "I wish I had a big banner here to say, 'Thank you, Utah.' ''
Starting at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, six-person teams were assigned to each of 60 areas mapped out by search and rescue crews on a grid of the 8-mile-long canyon. Each section was covered twice. Searchers found sleeping bags, clothing and other items.
"There are transient camps all over up there," said Salt Lake City police Detective Kevin Joiner. Police have taken some of those items into evidence, he said, but officers are not sure whether they are related to Hacking's disappearance.
In addition, police searched a Dumpster at a nearby Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward that is attended by some of Hacking's relatives. Joiner would not say what, if anything, was taken. Mark Hacking's car was taken into evidence, and investigators combed through the couple's Salt Lake City apartment - routine procedure for a case of this type, Baird said.
Hacking apparently parked her car a few houses down from the park entrance and took off toward the canyon about 5:15 a.m. Monday, authorities have said.
After learning his wife never arrived at work, a panicked Mark Hacking called police. Friends who work with Mark Hacking at University Hospital said he then called them for help at about 10 a.m., saying police wouldn't act on a missing-person complaint for 24 hours.
Hacking found his wife's car parked at Memory Grove at about 10:50 a.m. Baird said that the discovery was one factor in the decision to begin a large-scale search on Monday afternoon.
Thelma Soares, Lori Hacking's mother, sat stoicly on a bench - a picture of her daughter in her lap - near the gate to Memory Grove at the end of the second day's search. She said she had given up hope that her daughter would be found in the park or the canyon.
''I think we would have found her by now,'' she said. ''I think she's been abducted and taken away from here.''
Soares said the last person to have seen her daughter reported the woman was stretching by her car around 6 a.m. Her jogging partner told the mother that Hacking never stretched before she ran, only after.
"Someone just swept her up and threw her into their car," she said
The image of Lori Hacking's beauty was bittersweet for Thelma Soares.
"Since she was a very young teenager, every male she passed turned his head to look when she went by," she said.
Among those whose head was turned by the young brunette was Mark Hacking, who met his future wife while on a high school camping trip. ''I think he worshipped the ground Lori walked on,'' Soares said of her son-in-law. Family members said Mark Hacking recently graduated from the University of Utah with a psychology degree. He was planning to move with his wife to North Carolina, where he had been accepted at medical school, his father said.
Douglas Hacking said police have interviewed his son several times. "He didn't say much" about the police interviews, Douglas Hacking said. "I told him to expect it . . . It's important he be cleared of any suspicion and wrongdoing. We feel all right about that."
Mark Hacking was not at the search command post with other family members on Tuesday. They said only that he was with relatives.
"We're protecting him as best we can," said Scott Hacking, Mark Hacking's older brother.
Other family members said Mark Hacking was crushed by the idea that he may have lost both wife and child.
They said the couple was thrilled to learn that after five months of trying, they were going to be parents. Lori Hacking was planning to share the news with her mother at a family dinner scheduled on Sunday.
That opportunity never came. Instead, Soares learned of the pregnancy almost immediately after being told that her daughter was missing.
"She's going to have a child and we need to get her back before that happens," Thelma Soares said.
* Lori Hacking's family has created a Web site to disseminate fliers and provide search updates: http://www.findlori.com.
* Wells Fargo Institutional Brokerage and Sales, where Hacking works as a sales assistant, has issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return.
* Police are asking anyone with information about Hacking's disappearance to call 801-799-3000.
* Officials say there will be no organized search at Memory Grove Park today. They are asking volunteers to obtain fliers, and canvas the city and surrounding areas.