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'Anti-Govt' Parents Kidnap Kids, May Be at Sea

By Andrew Lu on April 08, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A man described as being "anti-government" has allegedly kidnapped his kids in a strange case of parental child abduction.

Police say that 35-year-old Joshua Hakken kidnapped his two young sons from their grandmother's house and may be trying to make his getaway via sailboat, reports NBC News.

Hakken allegedly broke into his mother-in-law's home in Tampa, Florida, and tied her up before making off with his sons. Police believe that Hakken and his wife Sharyn may be traveling together in a 25-foot sailboat.

The couple has been described as anti-government given their previous criminal history. The abduction of the two young boys is apparently not the couple's first abduction attempt.

Joshua and Sharyn Hakken have previously been arrested for drug charges and have told authorities they planned to "take a journey to the Armageddon," reports NBC News. After that arrest, it was determined that Hakken's two sons had to be placed in foster care.

Surprisingly, parents kidnapping their own children is one of the most common forms of abduction. And it is especially common for family-member kidnappers to attempt a getaway overseas.

According to the FBI, the agency typically has three options in going after a parent abductor:

  1. The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act. Under this Act, a criminal arrest warrant can be issued for a parent who takes a child outside the United States without the custodial parent's permission.

  2. Federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. A parent who is wanted in a state for parental abduction can face federal charges when crossing state lines or going international.

  3. The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. For countries who've signed on to the Hague Convention, there is a civil process that facilitates the return of kidnapped children to their home country.

Depending upon where Joshua Hakken took his two children, he could face FBI enforcement under one or all three of these options.

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