Report: Hakken family ended up in Cuba - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Report: Hakken family ended up in Cuba

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The FBI and the U.S. Department of State are investigating a report that the Hakken family ended up in Cuba.

That information comes from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

According to a sheriff's office media release, the FBI is talking to the State Department to try to confirm the information.

Surveillance video taken at a private pier in Madeira Beach shows Joshua and Sharyn Hakken preparing their boat to set sail.

Investigators say not long before the pictures were taken, the couple had abducted their two children Chase and Cole from their grandmother's home at gunpoint.

The FBI and the State Department are not commenting on the report that the family sailed to Cuba.

There is no word yet where the report came from.



RELATED STORY: Hakken's boat: 'They would have gone through hell'
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Investigators say the Hakkens took the kids, ditched their truck and then set sail. Neighbors and area boaters are just praying for a positive outcome to the story.

 

"I'm very concerned," resident Mike Hinman said. "With something like that, it's really alarming, you know, two children."

The private pier, located on 129th Avenue East in Madeira Beach, was the last place anyone saw the family. FOX 13 spoke to a witness who said the boat initially stalled before the father got it going.

He said the children were on board, even though surveillance pictures released did not show Chase and Cole.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office found the pickup truck the Hakkens were believed to be driving Thursday, then determined Friday the family likely fled by boat after uncovering the security video from a home near John's Pass Marina.  The family's vehicle was discovered abandoned in a nearby parking garage.

"I hope they're well.  I hope they're safe," said Tom Humienny, a boater from Riverview. "I don't even want to imagine what happened. I just hope they're pulled in somewhere, but it's hard not to miss a boat, at least that size. That there's been no sightings is rather of some concern."

Boaters all weekend, from Pensacola to the Florida Keys, have been asked to keep an eye out for the vessel.

"They say the longer it takes the worse the situation can be so I just hope they find them today or the next couple days," said Earl Bonaparte, another Riverview boater. "They say the longer it takes the worse the situation can be so I just hope they find them today or the next couple days."

The Hakkens are believed to be sailing in a 25-foot 1972 Morgan Sailboat with a blue Bimini top and white main sail.

The hull is blue and the ship has the word "Salty" on the back.  There's also a bright yellow horseshoe-shaped life preserver onboard.

Several neighbors on 129th Avenue East said they didn't see the family get away, but immediately recognized the boat.

"I've seen it out here, a few slips down," said Hinman, whose apartment is adjacent to the slip where the Hakkens departed.

"These people can be anywhere.  [The father] can go in and out of any channel at any point in time," said Holly Wolf, another neighbor in Madeira Beach.

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