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

Abducted boys' former foster parent fears for their safety

Posted: Updated:

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.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:53:20 GMT
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous acts" in the disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous behavior," while criticism of her own government's handling of the disaster...
  • Fire breaks out at Duke Energy plant in St. Pete

    Fire breaks out at Duke Energy plant in St. Pete

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:03 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:03:15 GMT
    The Pinellas County Fire Department responded to a one-alarm fire that broke out at the Duke Energy plant in St. Petersburg overnight.
    The Pinellas County Fire Department responded to a one-alarm fire that broke out at the Duke Energy plant in St. Petersburg overnight.
  • Shuttle service starts on dangerous stretch of Hillsborough road

    Shuttle service starts on dangerous stretch of Hillsborough road

    Monday, April 21 2014 4:18 AM EDT2014-04-21 08:18:47 GMT
    Hillsborough AvenueHillsborough Avenue

    Students can now board a shuttle bus instead of darting across several lanes of traffic on their way to Middleton High School.

    Students can now board a shuttle bus instead of darting across several lanes of traffic on their way to Middleton High School.


Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.