Cuba Will Turn Over American Parents Who Fled to Country with Kidnapped Children


Hillsborough County Sheriff(HAVANA, Cuba) — Cuban officials said Tuesday they will turn over the American parents who are accused of fleeing to the island country from Florida with their kidnapped sons.

It was not immediately known when Cuba planned to turn over Joshua Hakken, 35, his wife Sharyn Hakken, 34, and their two young sons, Cole, 4, and Chase, 2.

The Hakkens arrived in the Hemingway Marina in Havana on April 7 aboard their sailboat, Salty Paw, under unfavorable sailing conditions, according to a statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

The next day, Cuban officials said they became aware the Hakkens were wanted in an abduction case and contacted U.S. officials in Havana.

Cuba does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. However, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said it remained in frequent diplomatic communication with U.S. Interests Section in Havana regarding the situation.

The Hakken family was spotted by ABC News Tuesday getting off the boat in Havana and being escorted by government officials. Joshua Hakken and his sons were accompanied to a restaurant on the marina by dozens of Cuban government officials, while Sharyn Hakken was seen being driven away in a government vehicle, according to an ABC News producer in Havana.

The Hakkens lost custody of their sons last year after Slidell, La., police found them in a hotel room with their boys surrounded by weapons and drugs and “acting in a bizarre manner.”

The children had been living with their maternal grandparents in Tampa, Fla., until last Wednesday, when authorities allege Joshua Hakken barged into the home, tied up his mother-in-law, and fled with his sons in her car.

Hauser, who was the only adult home at the time of the abduction, managed to free herself and call 911, the Hillsborough County, Fla., sheriff’s office said.

Authorities said Hakken switched to another vehicle shortly after the abduction, abandoning his mother-in-law’s car a few blocks from her home.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office located an abandoned pickup truck, believed to Hakken’s, in the parking garage at Madeira Beach.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Joshua Hakken’s arrest on charges including kidnapping, interference in child custody and child neglect. It was not yet known what charges, if any, authorities plan to seek against Sharyn Hakken.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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