SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A first-degree murder charge was filed Monday against Mark Hacking, who allegedly confessed to relatives that he shot his wife in the head and threw her body in a trash bin.

Lori Hacking’s body has not been found, despite numerous searches of a local landfill.

The charge against Mark Hacking carries a possible penalty of five years to life in prison.

Hacking confessed to his brothers that early on July 19 he walked into the couple’s bedroom and fired a single shot in his wife’s head with a .22-caliber rifle, according to a probable cause statement released Monday.

He then wrapped her body in garbage bags and placed it in a trash bin about 2 a.m. that day, the statement said. He allegedly disposed of the gun in another bin.

Hacking was also charged with three counts of obstructing justice; each carries a possible one to 15 years in prison.

Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom had the option of filing a count of aggravated murder against Hacking, which carries the death penalty.

But the absence of Lori Hacking’s body would have made that difficult to prove.

The woman told friends just before her disappearance that she was five weeks pregnant, relying on a home pregnancy test. Without a body, police have not been able to confirm she was pregnant. She apparently did not visit a doctor.

Police have said they are confident in their case against the husband even without a body.

Mark Hacking, 28, reported his 27-year-old wife missing July 19. He said she had gone jogging at a downtown park and never showed up for work. But police later uncovered a series of lies by the husband, and said his wife likely never went jogging that morning.

Hacking was arrested Aug. 2. An affidavit filed by police says investigators found human blood on a knife in the couple’s bedroom and on the headboard and bed rail. The blood also matched traces of blood found in Lori Hacking’s car, police allege.

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