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US couple in jail after fleeing to Cuba with kids

Thursday - 4/11/2013, 5:42am  ET

These photos provided by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office show Joshua Michael Hakken, left, and Sharyn Hakken. Joshua Michael Hakken and his wife,Sharyn, are accused of kidnapping their two young sons and fleeing by boat to Cuba. They were handed over to the United States and their children were returned to the maternal grandparents who have official custody, authorities said Wednesday, April 10, 2013. The couple are being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on a number of charges including kidnapping, child neglect and interference with custody, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said on its website. U.S. authorities say the Hakkens kidnapped there sons, 4-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase, from his mother-in-law's house north of Tampa, Florida. The boys' grandparents were granted permanent custody of the boys last week. (AP Photo/Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

KELLI KENNEDY
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida parents charged with kidnapping their boys from their grandparents and sailing to Cuba on a boat called "Salty" to elude authorities will face a judge for the first time since they were forcibly returned from the island nation.

Joshua and Sharyn Hakken make their first appearance in court Thursday to hear the charges they're facing, including kidnapping, child neglect, false imprisonment, burglary and interference with custody.

Four-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase are now with their grandparents, who planned to talk about the ordeal publicly Thursday morning.

The couple arrived with their sons in Florida early Wednesday morning, accompanied by federal, state and local authorities after being handed over by Cuban officials.


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