Investigators are working with the FBI and the U.S. State Department to confirm reports that two brothers and their biological parents who allegedly kidnapped them have made it out of the country and onto Cuban soil. State officials are in contact with local authorities to see if there is anything they can to do to retrieve the boys from Cuba.
CNN reporter Patrick Oppmann reportedly spotted the family and their boat, Salty, at Hemingway Marina in Havana on Monday, and father "Josh Hakken glared though his sunglasses at the CNN reporter who found him, and said nothing beyond confirming his identity."
An amber alert was issued last week when brothers Cole and Cody Hakken were reported kidnapped from their grandparents' home in Tampa, Fla. The brothers’ father, 35-year old Joshua Hakken, reportedly broke into his mother-in-law's home, tied her up and abducted the young children last Wednesday. An Amber Alert was issued in Florida, Louisiana, and other states.
They boys had been living with their grandparents since last year and their grandparents were granted permanent custody last Tuesday. Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, their biological parents, lost custody after a drug possession arrest in Louisiana. Authorities reported Joshua later tried to take them from their foster home at gunpoint and they have flagged the emotional father as “anti-government.”
A federal, state, and local search took place by air and sea in search for the missing children. The couples truck was found abandoned late Thursday in Madeira Beach, 30 miles east of Tampa.
On Friday officials learned the couple may have been been leaving on a sailboat from John’s Pass marina. ABC Action News reported, “Witnesses say they saw the parents filling the boat with boxes of supplies.” The search continued up and down the Gulf coast, from Pensacola to the Keys.
The Hakken parents set out with a well devised plan and though they are possibly on drugs, aggressive and unstable, they have been successful thus far with their curated kidnapping.
Detective Larry McKinnon explained, "We heard phase one was completed and now phase two was in plan. It's definitely a coordinated plan. These are not dumb people. These are smart people with emotional issues. Our goal is to resolve this peacefully."
Anyone with information on the Hakken family is urged to contact officials.