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As hundreds continued to search Sunday for missing jogger Lori Hacking, LDS Church leaders in Orem canceled some Sunday services and spiritual gatherings so its members could join the efforts.
The weeklong search for the 27-year-old woman who is reportedly several weeks pregnant has spread from the City Creek surroundings to include most of Salt Lake City and nearby canyons, organizers said.
Although the number of volunteers looking for Hacking dwindled to about 200 by the end of last week, more than 1,800 volunteers - some still in church clothes - turned out Sunday to look for signs that could lead police and a grieving family to the woman, missing since Monday. Some volunteers brought their dogs; others offered their horses to search the canyons.
"This is just good people trying to do the right thing," said Scott Dunaway, president of the Orem-Windsor Stake, where Hacking's parents, Thelma and Hareld Soares, worship.
A police spokesman would not confirm or deny published reports that investigators took a bloody knife with hair strands from the couple's Salt Lake City apartment. Nor would he provide more information on clumps of hair reportedly removed from a trash bin near a South Salt Lake store where Lori's husband, Mark Hacking, bought a mattress the day of his wife's reported disappearance.
Salt Lake City police Detective Dwayne Baird reiterated the department's policy of not commenting on possible evidence in the case but did say investigators were reviewing surveillance tape from an R.C. Willey's furniture store after receiving a tip that Mark Hacking had been in the store Monday morning.
Hacking, 28, is the only person of interest named in public, Baird said. The "big lie" that Hacking, a psychiatric nurse, told about moving to North Carolina to attend medical school is part of why the police are interested in him, Baird said, but it is not the only reason.
He declined to elaborate.
Family members of Lori and Mark Hacking showed signs of strain Sunday. During an emotional news conference, they tightly squeezed one another's hands, and Lori's father, Hareld Soares, cried openly. Relatives announced that Dunaway would be handling all communication for the family.
The family spokesman said that while relatives can't explain away the inconsistencies of Mark Hacking's stories, they continue to support him.
Any conversations between the family and Mark would be kept private, Dunaway said. He and police could not say whether Mark Hacking was still hospitalized in connection with what family members called "a breakdown" Monday evening.
Thelma Soares said reports about any disagreements between the Hacking and Soares families are false. They remain hopeful that Lori will be found alive, she said.
"We've been united from the beginning and we continue to be united, we love [Mark] as if he were our own son, and the Hackings love Lori as if she were their own daughter," she said.
Searchers, meanwhile, have shifted strategy, with efforts now focused not only on finding Lori, but on anything that could be potential evidence if a body is found.
Members of a group that searched a residential area of Salt Lake City on Sunday said they called out Lori Hacking's name, knocked on doors, and asked residents whether they had noticed anything unusual in the last few days.
"We saw a girl's top in the gutter," said volunteer Jon Almquist. "Normally, you wouldn't think twice about something like that. . . . But we made a note of it."
Another search team combed the wilderness area between Tanner Park and Suicide Rock, following up on an earlier report of a smell of decay near the freeway. They found nothing.
Brian Gardner, who belongs to the same stake as Thelma and Hareld Soares, said volunteers are worried about the woman, whom many of them have never met. Gardner volunteered his 4-year-old dog Mogli, a yellow Labrador retriever, to help in the search efforts.
Mogli, who works as a rescue dog at the Sundance resort, once recovered a cadaver, Gardner said. But in this case, Gardner hopes the dog will help find a living being, or anything that will help the family find peace.
Volunteer Chris Smart, uncle of Elizabeth Smart, urged a group of 30 volunteers to "leave no stone unturned."
"We just hope and pray for this family," he said.