After being abducted by their parents and taken to Cuba, two boys have been reunited with their Florida grandparents. Chase, 2, and Cole, 4, thought of the experience as an “adventure” and did not know that they were kidnapped.
"We have not asked the boys anything about the journey,” their grandmother Patricia Hauser, told CNN “We are just letting them tell us as things come out if they feel like talking.”
The boys were initially taken away from their parents by authorities in June of 2012 when police officers found the parents acting bizarrely in a Louisiana hotel room.
“They were talking about 'completing their ultimate journey' and were traveling across the country to 'take a journey to the Armageddon'," said the police in a statement. "Let it be noted that both of their children were present in the hotel room at the time.”
Josh Hakken, the boys’ father, insisted that the kids be returned when he appeared at their foster home with a gun, but left the scene after the foster parents called 911.
Over the next few months, he and his wife “did not participate in the system,” Sheriff David Gee of Hillsborough County told CNN. As a result, custody was given to the grandparents on April 2.
The boys’ grandmother said that, on the next morning, Josh Hakken tied her up and kidnapped the boys and the family dog. Sheriff's investigators said that they later left for Cuba on a sailboat with the boys’ mother, Sharyn Hakken. The person who sold the boat later clued in authorities.
After Cuban officials turned the parents and kids over to U.S. authorities, Cole, Chase and the family dog were reunited with the Hauser's on Wednesday.
"They called us from Cuba and let us talk to the boys before their plane even left," Patricia Hauser said. "Many tears were shed in that room from us."
Prosecutors have charged Josh and Sharyn Hakken with 11 counts, including burglary, false imprisonment, child abuse and two counts of felony kidnapping.