Parents in Cuba Kidnapping Case Isolated from Jail Population
(TAMPA, Fla.) — The American parents accused of fleeing to Cuba with their kidnapped sons are being isolated at a Florida jail for their safety as they await their first court date, a jail official told ABC News.
Although Joshua Hakken, 35, and Sharyn Hakken, 34, are being held in their own cells at the Hillsborough County Jail, they are receiving no special treatment, Corporal Howard Lindsey said.
“In any case that is high profile, when they first arrive here we try to segregate them from the general population until the hype calms down,” Lindsey said.
The Hakkens were returned to the United States early Wednesday morning in the custody of FBI agents before they were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
Their sons, Cole 4, and Chase, 2, who were also on board the flight from Cuba, were returned to the custody of their maternal grandparents.
A few hours before the plane landed, authorities held a news conference and said both parents are facing kidnapping, child interference with child custody and neglect charges.
Joshua Hakken is facing grand theft auto, false imprisonment, battery and burglary. He is also facing a federal charge for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The couple is scheduled to make their first court appearance on Thursday.
The children had been living with their maternal grandparents in Tampa, Fla., until last Wednesday, when authorities allege that Joshua Hakken barged into the home, tied up his mother-in-law, and fled with his sons in her car.
The Hakkens arrived in the Hemingway Marina in Havana 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.
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, drugs and “acting in a bizarre manner.”
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