The FBI announced Wednesday that it will not pursue federal charges in the Hakken child abduction case. Authorities brought Joshua and Sharyn Hakken and their sons Cole and Chase back to the United States last night. Deputies booked the parents into the Hillsborough County Jail early this morning. Both face numerous charges including kidnapping, interference with child custody and kidnapping. All of those are state charges.
While authorities say this isn't your common parental abduction case, we had a similar one in the Tampa Bay Area just a few years ago. In 2009, Paul Martikainen abducted his son Luke Finch during a supervised visitation. Luke was three at the time. The father and son made their way from Brevard County on the east coast, to St. Petersburg. They boarded a sailboat he had been working on and headed out into the gulf. A coast guard C-130 spotted them several days later after a massive search. Martikainen eventually pleaded guilty to state and federal charges and is currently serving time in state prison. He's scheduled to be released next year.
St. Petersburg attorney Arturo Rios was surprised at the FBI's decision not to pursue federal charges, but says the state charges are very serious. "This is very, very serious." Rios said. "And I'm afraid these two individuals have a very, very long road ahead of them and will probably be spending a lot of time behind bars. And I'm afraid, rightfully so. "
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