WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

AMBER Alert issued for Florida children; family may have been in Ky.

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The alert is out after two parents are said to have kidnapped their kids in Tampa, Florida and headed north on I-75 and likely into Kentucky.

"We're working on getting information on the children on billboards across the Southwest and Southeast part of the country," said Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in Florida.

Investigators say Joshua Hakken tied up the children's grandmother Wednesday morning and walked his two boys out in their pajamas. Police think he and and the children are now with his wife, Sharyn Hakken, the children's mother.

"My heart breaks for everybody in the family but particularly for those two little boys," Carla Bolling told reporters after learning what happened just a short distance from her home.

Detectives say the Hakkens lost parental rights to their sons, 4-year-old Chase and 2-year-old Cole, just a day before and that likely set off the kidnapping attempt.

"They probably didn't agree with that decision and unfortunately it might have been a misjudgment on their part," said Dave Couvertier of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Law enforcement agents say they are concerned about Hakken's past. Police say he was arrested last June at a Louisiana hotel with drugs and guns in the same room as the boys. The children were then put into foster care, where police say Hakken later showed up armed and demanding his kids.

Now the search is on and while investigators don't know where Hakken is headed, they do believe he was here in Richmond area, leading Kentucky State Police to put out the AMBER Alert.

"I can tell you that we're working around the clock and we are focusing on the safe return of the entire family specifically that of the children," said Couvertier.

Investigators in Tampa say they've been receiving tips from Kentucky since the Amber Alert was issued, and they're hopeful that will lead the parents to make the right choice for the children.

"Hopefully they're watching this or somebody can give us a tip so we can peacefully resolve this. No one needs to be hurt; the kids even the parents," expressed Couvertier.

At this time, investigators say most states have the Amber Alert issued and the notice is out for a 2006 black GMC Sierra pick-up with the Florida license plate: U95KT. If you see the truck or the parents, you are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.


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