Search for 2 kidnapped boys turns to water

Father accused of taking young sons recently bought sailboat

Published On: Apr 07 2013 11:39:41 AM EDT
Blurb image - Hakken sailboat and 2 missing boys
TAMPA, Fla. -

Florida authorities hope good weather will boost their chances of tracking down a sailboat that may be carrying two boys kidnapped from their grandparents' home on Wednesday.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says Joshua Michael Hakken entered his mother-in-law's house Wednesday, tied her up and fled with his sons, Cole and Chase.

Authorities are searching for a boat Hakken recently bought. It's described as having a blue Bimini top, white mainsail, and a blue hull with the word "Salty" and a paw print in white on both sides, with a white stripe near the water line.

"The search, especially for a vessel, is extremely difficult just for the fact that Florida has some of the largest coastlines in the United States," said FFWC Spokesman Baryl Martin told WTVT-TV. "The nooks and crannies that run up and down the coast of Florida are varied, so a lot of the general public get back in those areas more than we're able to."

Joshua and Sharyn Hakken Sheriff's office spokesman Larry McKinnon tells The Tampa Tribune that good weather means more recreational and boaters will be on the water and able to help in the search.

Joshua, and his wife, Sharyn, are believed to be with the boys.  The couple lost custody of their children after the husband was arrested on drug charges in Slidell, La., in June 2012.

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 battery and one count of grand theft auto.

Chase Hakken is 3 feet tall, weighs 33 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes.  He was last seen wearing pajamas. Cole Hakken is 3 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 44 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes.  He was also last seen wearing pajamas.

Anyone in Florida with information about Hakkens is asked to call 911 or to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.