Florida authorities search for sailboat that may be carrying 2 missing boys
Last Updated: 246 days ago
TAMPA, Fla. - Florida authorities are searching for a sailboat that may be carrying two missing boys who were kidnapped from their grandparents' home by their parents.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says Joshua Michael Hakken entered his mother-in-law's house Wednesday around 6:30 p.m., tied her up and fled with his sons, four-year-old Cole and two-year-old Chase.
Authorities are searching for a boat Hakken recently bought. It's has a blue hull with the word "Salty" and a paw print in white on both sides.
Authorities say Hakken, his wife, Sharyn, and the boys reportedly got on the sailboat a few hours after the kidnapping.
Sheriff's office spokesman Larry McKinnon tells The Tampa Tribune that good weather means more recreational and boaters will be on the water and able to help in the search.
Storms had been moving along the west coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico, but conditions were better Sunday.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide alert for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for the boys Friday.
The boys were wearing their pajamas when they were taken, deputies said.
"The grandfather had left for work. The break-in occurred shortly after -- that's when he accosted her, tied her up and then took off with the children in the car," said investigators said.
Detectives say they received tips about several sightings of the Hakken family in several different states, but they are currently pursuing the possibility that the father fled on his sailboat.
"We have at this point received tips from various states alleging sightings of the children and family. We are working with our law enforcement partners and the FBI and trying to vet those tips and see if it is accurate information," said Colonel Lusczynski.
Louisiana Police said the parents lost custody of the boys after a bizarre encounter in 2012. A Slidell Police Department detective tells us by phone they were called to a disturbance at a hotel.
"Mr. Hakken was in possession of narcotics and he had some weapons with him. At that point in time, he was placed under arrest," said Slidell Police Detective Daniel Seuzeneau.
"They were speaking some bizarre words that alarmed our officers. They were talking about going to California and when I read the report yesterday, it was something towards the effect of they were trying to beat the Armageddon and get to California which was, obviously, very bizarre," he said.
Louisiana detectives said the couple told officers they were trying to beat "Armageddon" and "complete their ultimate journey." They also said the father tried to kidnap the boys at gunpoint from a foster care home in Louisiana but failed.
Law enforcement has characterized the couple as "anti-government" but aren't sure where they are headed or why.
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