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Hakken kids, grandparents make first public appearance

1:29 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The little boys who police say were abducted by their own parents and taken to Cuba smiled and posed for news cameras Thursday, outside their grandparents' Tampa home.

It was the first time Cole and Chase Hakken have been seen publicly since being returned from Cuba earlier in the week.

The children's grandparents, Robert and Patricia Hauser, also spoke Thursday morning. They thanked law enforcement, the media and even the country of Cuba for the quick and safe return of their grandchildren.

Police say Joshua and Sharyn Hakken lost custody of their children to the Hausers, and staged an elaborate plan to kidnap the kids and take them on a sailboat to Cuba. But upon arrival to the communist nation, authorities quickly took them into custody and had them sent back to the United States.

The grandparents say 4-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase do not know the seriousness of events that surround them, only that they had a big sailboat adventure to Cuba.

Also with the Hakkens during their journey was the family dog. Patricia Hauser said the pooch has some health problems, but overall is doing OK and is back home with them.

After Cole and Chase briefly stepped outside to greet the awaiting news cameras on Thursday, the Hausers asked that the family be left alone and that they did not plan on making any more public statements.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Joshua and Sharyn Hakken made their first court appearance. A judge ordered them held without bond until another hearing, currently scheduled for Friday.

WTSP

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