Vehicle linked to AMBER Alert found in Florida

Vehicle linked to AMBER Alert found in Florida

Posted: Updated: April 4, 2013 11:40 PM
Cole Hakken (source: TBI) Cole Hakken (source: TBI)
Chase Hakken (source: TBI) Chase Hakken (source: TBI)
Sharyn Hakken (source: TBI) Sharyn Hakken (source: TBI)
Joshua Hakken (source: TBI) Joshua Hakken (source: TBI)
The Hakkens were last seen driving a 2006 GMC Sierra (similar to the one pictured here) with Florida license plate U95KT (source: TBI) The Hakkens were last seen driving a 2006 GMC Sierra (similar to the one pictured here) with Florida license plate U95KT (source: TBI)

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (WATE) - The vehicle authorities were searching for in an AMBER Alert in East Tennessee was found in Florida Thursday, but the search continues for the two missing boys.

The AMBER Alert is for Cole Hakken, 4, and Chase Hakken, 2, both from Tampa, Fla. and remains in effect in Florida.

Because there no longer appears to be a Tennessee connection to their disappearance, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has deactivated the Tennessee AMBER Alert that was issued Thursday.

Florida authorities are still searching for Cole and Chase Hakken, who were allegedly kidnapped from their custodial grandmother on April 3.

TBI had issued a statewide AMBER Alert Thursday because the parents were said to be traveling in a 2006 black GMC Sierra with the Florida license number U95KT.

That vehicle was possibly spotted in Etowah, Tenn., but Thursday evening WFTS-TV reported the vehicle was discovered in Madeira Beach, Fla.

Florida investigators told ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa that the boys' father Joshua Hakken went into the home early Wednesday morning after the grandfather had left for work.

Officials believe the boys' biological mother, Sharyn Hakken, may have been waiting outside in a vehicle.

Joshua Hakken allegedly tied up the grandmother, Patricia Houser, took the boys and fled in Houser's 2009 Toyota Camry.

The car was found several blocks away.

The Hakkens reportedly lost custody of the boys to the grandparents after the state of Louisiana took the children away following a series of incidents.

WFTS-TV reports that the couple lost custody of the boys after Joshua Hakken was arrested for drug possession in the presence of the children at an anti-government rally in Louisiana.

"Apparently there was some concern there that they had the feeling that their parental rights were taken away," FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier with the Tampa Division said. "That's something that they didn't want to happen."

He later tried to abduct the children from a Louisiana daycare at gunpoint, but was unable to get inside and fled the scene.

The children were handed over to their grandparents sometime in 2012.

Authorities believe the parents are armed and dangerous.

"We're working around the clock and we're focusing on the safe return of the entire family," Couvertier said.

The family has no connection to Tennessee.

"No one needs to be hurt, the kids, even the parents," Couvertier said. "I think with a little bit of, with guidance, I think they can resolve this issue in the best way possible for everyone."

Chase Hakken is described as 3' tall, weighing 33 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing pajamas.

Cole Hakken is described as 3'9" tall, weighing 44 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. He was also last seen wearing pajamas.

Joshua Hakken is described as a white male, 35 years old, 5'9" tall, weighing about 175 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.

Sharyn Hakken is described as a white female, 34 years old, 5'4" tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the vehicle or the children was urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND or the Hillsborough County Florida Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.

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