Florida Couple Found in Cuba With Own Abducted Kids

Image: Florida Couple Found in Cuba With Own Abducted Kids L-R: 35-year-old Joshua Michael Hakken, Sharyn Patricia Hakken, two-year-old Chase Hakken and four-year-old Cole Hakken.

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 02:41 PM

By Alexander Ward

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A Florida couple accused of kidnapping their own sons was found at a marina in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday after setting sail off the coast of Florida last week.

Authorities say Joshua and Sharyn Hakken of Louisiana lost custody of sons Chase, 2, and Cole, 4, last year to the children's maternal grandmother after police responded to a disturbance call and found the Hakkens with narcotics and weapons. Josh Hakken, reportedly an anti-government protestor, was heard rambling about "completing their ultimate journey" and traveling across the country to "take a journey to the Armageddon."

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The kids were taken by child welfare officers and placed with Sharyn Hakken's mother, Patricia Hauser, in Tampa, Fla. Earlier this month, the Hakkens' parental rights were terminated in court, according to CNN.

Police say the Hakkens broke into Hauser's home Wednesday, tied her up, and abducted the children. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received information that the family had set sail for Cuba from Florida's Madeira Beach, and they were spotted at the Hemingway Marina in Havana Tuesday.

The FBI is reportedly working with the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, but some worry that rescuing the boys might be difficult because there is no extradition treaty between Cuba and the United States.

"Unfortunately, these parents and these poor children, these innocent ones, will now be in a country where there are no laws, there is no redress, and that has been a refuge for fugitives and wanted criminals for many years," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R- Florida, told CNN.

The FBI currently estimates there are around 70 fugitives from U.S. justice in Cuba, which is one of the reasons Cuba remains on the U.S. list of countries that support state terrorism. Most of the American fugitives in Cuba have been there for decades and have ties to revolutionary movements or radical groups, according to CNN.

A State Department official, however, said that Cuba "is aware of this case and is in contact with local authorities to get more information."

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Related stories:

School Bus Driver Shot in Alabama; Suspect in Bunker With Abducted Child

10-Year-Old Found Alive, Wandering in Parking Lot After Abduction

After Faking Abduction, Mom Spent 4 Days With Ex, Say Police

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