Alabama mom Brittany Littlefield says she was just trying to help find Hakkens

4:34 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, FL -- As a 20-year-old mother of two, Brittany Littlefield figured she was someone Sharyn Hakken could relate to.

"I said, 'Hey girl, how are you doing? Where have you been lately?'"

Although the two had never been Facebook friends, Littlefield used the social site to send Hakken an instant message. And to her surprise, Hakken responded.

She told Littlefield on April 5th -- two days after the kidnapping -- that she and the couple's two boys were still in Tampa.

"I had never chatted with her. I was just trying to reach out to see if I could find the kids or if maybe she could bring them here or something, you know? She'd at least feel heartbroken that she took them."

See Also: Hakken mom chatted on Facebook during kidnapping

Ten minutes later, Littlefield says Hakken erased the message. But investigators have asked for a warrant to learn more about Sharyn's Facebook activity.

They asked officials in Cottonwood, Alabama to check out Littlefield's story, and it appears that her connection to Hakken is limited to their brief online contact.

"Everything was that she didn't actually know the girl personally. They just met up on Facebook trying to find her," said Cottonwood Police Chief Gary Edwards.

Documents found on Joshua Hakken's laptop computer also suggest plans to defect with the children in Cuba.

Prosecutors want to know more about that and any email he may have received or sent under the Gmail account "mysticknights13".

Littlefield says she shared the Facebook tip with her local police department. They in turn notified investigators in Hillsborough County. She never thought she'd actually get through, but was glad she did.

"I mean, it's worth it to find those little boys and make sure they're not dead or stuff like that," she said.

Jonathan Crivello is manager at the Detroit Resort Motel off Highway 41 in Spring Hill. His name also came up in the documents.

For more than two months, Joshua and Sharyn Hakken lived in room 7, he says.

"Very very nice people. They were taking it week by week," he said.

Crivello says the Hakkens left the same morning they had kidnapped their kids in South Tampa.

They had settled their bill the night before, he says, and told him they were leaving the state to look for work.

"They threw me off. Told me they were heading to Tennessee. So they kinda knew what they were gonna do," he says.

The boys - 4-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase, were never once mentioned by the couple during their stay, says Crivello. And yet?

"I have a lot of sympathy for them," he told 10 News. "Knowing who they were. I know they weren't probably the greatest parents out there and now they're probably gonna be facing a lot of trouble."

Crivello says Joshua Hakken had a Louisiana I.D. He says Sharyn's was from Florida.

They were intelligent, friendly, and made good conversation about politics... but nothing radical, he says. And there was never so much as a hint, he says, of the plot they were about to unleash.

"If I'd just had a few minutes knowing their situation, I probably would have tried talking him out of it and he wouldn't be in the position he's in," says Crivello.

The next step for the Hakkens is a status hearing in front of Judge Chet Thorpe, scheduled for May 30th.

For now, the couple remains held in jail without bond. The boys were returned safely to the custody of their grandparents.

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