The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said that it received preliminary information late Monday afternoon that the Hakken family, sought in recent Amber Alerts, fled to Cuba. An Amber Alert was re-issued Friday for Cole Hakken, 4, and Chase Hakken, 2, who may be on a sailboat with their parents Joshua Hakken, 35, and Sharyn Hakken, 34, who do not have legal custody of them, authorities said late last week. Larry McKinnon and Cpl. Kevin Bodie of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spoke about the case.
Two boys missing from Tampa and the people they’re believed to be with may be heading to or already in South Florida, the FBI said Friday.
An Amber Alert was re-issued for Cole Hakken, 4, and Chase Hakken, 2, who were last seen in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.
They may be with their parents Joshua Hakken, 35, and Sharyn Hakken, 34 – who do not have legal custody of them – and they may be traveling in a 25-foot, 1972 Morgan sailboat, according to authorities. The vessel has a registration number of FL3717BK.
The boat has a blue hull, the name "Salty" with a picture of a paw near the back of the hull on each side, a blue Bimini top and a white sail with blue trim, the FDLE said.
“We found a witness that observed a boat similar to one that we knew was possibly missing (that) had gone underneath the John’s Pass Bridge a couple of hours after the initial abduction,” said Larry McKinnon of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The boys' maternal grandmother was given custody of them on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning Joshua Hakken broke into her home at 14040 Shady Oaks Drive in Tampa, tied her up, woke up his two children and took them from the home, according to the sheriff's office. He stole his mother-in-law's car and fled from the residence, the sheriff's office added.
The grandmother called 911 after freeing herself, according to the sheriff's office.
Detectives found her car abandoned several blocks away, and they believe that Hakken and the children then got into a second vehicle, the sheriff's office said. In the first Amber Alert issued Wednesday, authorities said they were looking for a 2006 black Sierra with Florida tag U95KT.
The Hakkens left the John's Pass area Thursday, headed into the Gulf of Mexico aboard Joshua Hakken's new sailboat, the sheriff's office said. According to Cpl. Kevin Bodie of the sheriff's office, this week's incident isn't the first time the parents have tried to take their sons out of someone else's custody.
“They were taken from the parents during a rally in Louisiana in mid-2012, and during that time period, the parents did attempt to do an abduction or reclaiming of the children from a foster home that they were placed at in Louisiana," Bodie said.
Authorities urge anyone with information on the location of the children to call the FBI's Miami office at 305-944-9101, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department at 813-247-8200, or 911.
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