Amber Alert: Joshua Hakken took sons Cole and Chase into Gulf of Mexico on sailboat, shortly after kidnapping

4:28 PM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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Amber Alert UPDATE: Hillsborough deputies say Joshua Hakken -- who abducted his two non-custodial children in Tampa -- was last seen taking his family into the Gulf of Mexico aboard this sailboat.


Tampa, Florida -- Hillsborough deputies say the father who abducted his two non-custodial children in Tampa was last seen taking his family into the Gulf of Mexico aboard a sailboat.

The information comes shortly after Joshua Hakken's pickup truck was discovered in a Madeira Beach parking garage. Investigators believe Hakken took 4-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase onto a 25-foot sailboat, hours after abducting them from their grandmother's home early on Wednesday morning.

The Sheriff's Office says it is not clear what direction the boat went after leaving the John's Pass area, nor do they know if the boat was still on the water during Thursday's stormy weather.

The boat's description is as follows:

  • 1972 Morgan 25M (25 foot) sailboat
  • Blue bimini top, white mainsail with blue trim, boat deck and cabin are white
  • Hull is blue with "Salty" and a paw print in white on both sides with a white stripe near water line
  • The stern has "St. Petersburg" in white lettering
  • Florida Boat Registration #FL3717BK, HUL #M252099
  • Possibly a yellow horseshoe life preserver on deck

Grandmother tied up during abduction

Deputies say Joshua Hakken took his kids just one day after he and his wife lost custody.

"He entered the residence, where he tied up the grandmother and then removed the children," said Corporal Kevin Bodie, a case detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

It happened in what neighbors describe as a quiet neighborhood just as parents were taking their children to school.

"My heart breaks, my heart beaks for everybody in the family, but particularly for those two little boys," said Carla Bolling, who saw all the activity around the grandmother's home on Shady Shores Drive in Tampa.

Hakken's wife Sharyn is also believed to be accompanying them. Investigators are not sure if she was part of the kidnapping plot or a victim.

"We do feel that they are in danger due to the nature, the means where they were taken," said Corporal Bodie.

A warrant is out for Joshua Hakken's arrest on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of child neglect, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of burglary with batter, and one count of grand theft auto.

The children were originally removed from Hakken's custody last year in Louisiana following multiple drug charges. While in foster care, Joshua Hakken allegedly showed up at the foster care facility waving a gun and began beating on the front door. He fled the scene without his children after he was unable to enter the secured facility.

Anyone with any information regarding the location of these children are asked to immediately dial 9-1-1 or call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200. Both parents are considered armed and dangerous.

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