Amber Alert update - Why parents lost custody of their children - WFLA News Channel 8

Amber Alert update - Why parents lost custody of their children

Posted: Updated:
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

On Thursday, Newschannel 8 learned more about why 2-year-old Chase Hakken and his 4-year-old brother Cole were taken away from their parents by the Louisiana Office of Child Services.

Police in Slidell, Louisiana, a city outside of New Orleans, became acquainted with the Hakkens in June of last year.

The department sent out a press release saying Slidell police officers responded to a hotel in that city following a disturbance call. 

When they arrived, they discovered Joshua and Sharyn Hakken acting in a "bizarre manner. "

Investigators say they made comments to the responding officers about "completing their ultimate journey," and that they were traveling across the country to "take a journey to the Armageddon."

Detectives say the two small children were in the hotel room at the time. They also say they discovered drugs and firearms in that room.

Authorities notified the Louisiana Office of Child Services (OCS), similar to Florida's Department of Children and Families, who then put the boys in a foster home.

Two weeks later, police say they were alerted when Joshua Hakken showed up at the children's foster home in Hammond, LA, with a gun demanding his children's return.

Slidell investigators say Hakken left before officers arrived.

Louisiana OCS granted custody of the children to their maternal grandmother on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday morning, Joshua Hakken broke into his mother-in-laws home, tied her up and kidnapped his two children.

They believe he met up with his wife, Sharyn Hakken, the children's mother, and investigators believe they are currently traveling together.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say they've received numerous tips from all over the southeast, and there are active amber alerts in Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee.

At a news conference earlier today, Hillsborough Sheriff's officials say they were still concerned for the children's safety.

"Our concern was just the manner in which they were removed from the grandmother," said Colonel Donna Lusczynski. "The nature of that and that's our desire to make sure that they are safe and making sure their whereabouts are okay. "

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