HAVANA, Cuba - CNN has confirmed that the Hakken family is in Cuba. Investigators say Joshua Hakken, who lost custody of his two young boys, kidnapped them last Wednesday and left John's Pass later that day on a 25-foot sailboat.
CNN Reporter Patrick Oppman said he spotted three members of the family at a marina in Havana. The three family members were the father, the mother and one of the boys.
When approached, Sharyn Hakken told Oppman her family is fine, but refused to talk any further. CNN also reported that the family was still at the marina.
What action Cuban authorities might take remains unclear.
Oppman and his photographer were quickly approached by Cuban government officials and immediately told to stop filming.
Oppman said during a phone interview with CNN that the boat the Hakken family were on looked beat up. He said it appeared the family had traveled through some very rough waters.
Witnesses say they saw both Joshua and Sharyn Hakken loading boxes of supplies on the sailboat before boarding and heading out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Cole, 4, and his brother Chase, 2, were allegedly abducted by their father April 3 from their maternal grandmother's house. Authorities say the Hakkens boarded the boat just hours after the kidnapping, giving them about a 16-hour jump on authorities, according to Detective Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
At this point, multiple agencies have been working the case by land, air and sea, all pleading with the public to help locate the family.
The following statement was released by a State Department official:
"The U.S. Interest Section is aware of this case and is in contact with local authorities to get more information. U.S. officials are providing all appropriate assistance to the family. Because of privacy reasons, we are unable to provide any additional information. One of the Department's highest priorities is the welfare of U.S. citizens overseas. This is particularly true for children, who are our most vulnerable citizens. The Department works with parents and foreign governments to resolve these difficult cases."
The boat they were last seen in is a 1972 Morgan with an outboard motor with the word "Salty" written on the side with two paw prints on it. The sailboat has a blue hull and a white mainsail. Authorities say Joshua Hakken purchased the boat just weeks before the alleged kidnapping.
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