Leads pour in for missing brothers - WFLA News Channel 8

Leads pour in for missing brothers

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

Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies spent the weekend following up on dozens of leads from people who thought they spotted the missing Hakken family.

"Unfortunately none of those sightings panned out, but the good news on that is we now know people are looking," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Det. Larry McKinnon.

McKinnon said four states issued Amber Alerts last week for 2-year-old Chase Hakken and his 4-year-old brother, Cole. Florida and Alabama were the only states with active alerts remaining Monday morning.

"We think that they're in the border states of the Gulf of Mexico," explained Det. McKinnon. "We haven't had any information that says they've moved in towards the interior of the country. So those states elected to eliminate those Amber Alerts."

Investigators said Joshua Hakken abducted his two sons Wednesday morning from their maternal grandmother's Tampa home. A judge recently awarded her custody of the boys. Investigators believe Joshua Hakken and his children met up with their mother, Sharyn, and abandoned their truck in Madeira Beach.

Surveillance video shows the couple sailing away on their sailboat near John's Pass Wednesday at 10 a.m. Witnesses told investigators the children were onboard. The US Coast Guard is asking all recreational and professional boaters to keep their eyes out for the 25-foot blue sailboat. Investigators released a new picture of that sailboat Monday morning. It clearly shows the word "Salty" scripted on the back of the boat with a white paw print.

"We're still very committed to the safety and welfare and return of these two children and we also are committed to hearing the voice of these two parents," said Det. McKinnon. "There is an opportunity for the parents to come forward and help resolve this thing peacefully."

Anyone who spots the sailboat or the family is urged to call 911.

"This is going to go on until we determine there's nothing else that we can do. We haven't reached that point yet," said McKinnon.

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