Abducted boys' former foster parent fears for their safety - WNCT

Abducted boys' former foster parent fears for their safety

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The former foster parent of the two boys kidnapped from Tampa says he's worried about the boys safety as police in three states search for them and their parents.

"They would do anything to evade the children from getting taken from them again," said the Slidell, Louisiana, resident, who only wished to be called Tom. "I don't know what they would do."

The man, who spoke to affiliate WDSU on conditions of anonymity because of safety concerns, said Chase Hakken, now 2, and Cole Hakken, 4, came to live with his family last June. They were there 28 days before Joshua and Sharyn Hakken showed up, he said.

"My wife said 'you've got to go away. You've got to go away.'" he said.

When Tom's wife threatened to call police, he said, Joshua Hakken pulled out a gun.

"He tried kicking in the door from there and after that the cops showed up within a minute, which we were very grateful," he said.

The Hakken boys went into foster care after the parents' run-in with police in June 2012. Slidell Police Detective Daniel M. Seuzeneau said during that month, Joshua and Sharon Hakken were staying at a local hotel when somebody called about a disturbance.

"When police arrived, both Mr. and Mrs. Hakken were acting in a bizarre manner that alarmed officers," Seuzeneau said in a written statement Thursday. "They were talking about "completing their ultimate journey" and were traveling across the country to "take a journey to the Armageddon."

The statement also noted that both of their children were present in the hotel room at the time, as well as drugs and weapons.  Police contacted the Office of Child Services (OCS).

"OCS determined that the children were in danger and needed to be taken into custody by the State of Louisiana and temporarily placed in a foster home," Seuzeneau said.

"Mr. Hakken was placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and the Use of a Controlled and Dangerous Substance in the Presence of Minors.  Officers also took custody of several weapons for safe keeping."

Tom, the boys former foster father says, the boys were returned to Louisiana state custody. "For the safety of the children because I couldn't protect them from there on out," he said. "{They are} two of the best, beautiful kids you've ever met in your life. The kids listen. It's amazing that the parents were like that because the way the kids listen. It was as if they were brought up right. They were. Something tells me something was right with the parents at one point in their life."

Other than the arrest made by the Slidell Police Department, the Hakken's have no known connection to Slidell.  They were apparently just passing through when troubles began last year.

"We have no reason to believe that Mr. Hakken will return to Slidell, but since we have dealt with him in the past, we wanted to make everyone aware that there is a possibility he could return for some reason or another," Seuzeneau said in his statement.

The boys' former foster father became emotional when he talked about the their safe return. "I just want these kids to be safe," he said. "These kids are beautiful."

A nationwide manhunt for the Hakkens and their children is underway after an abduction from the boys' maternal grandmother's home Wednesday morning at 6:30.

Detectives said Joshua Hakken, 35, went to his mother-in-law's home at 14040 Shady Shores Dr. in Tampa,  tied her up with zip ties and took 2-year-old Chase and 4-year-old Cole.

Hillsborough County investigators believe Sharyn Hakken, 34, is likely with them.

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