Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Affidavit: Sharyn Hakken chatted online after kidnapping

TAMPA — Sharyn Hakken chatted online with a Facebook friend during the time authorities said she and her husband were fleeing to Cuba with their kidnapped sons, a court record filed Tuesday indicates.

Another court record also filed Tuesday shows that when Sharyn and Joshua Hakken were taken into custody in Cuba, he carried a Toshiba Satellite laptop computer in his backpack.

The Tampa couple remains in the Hillsborough County jail without bail on a number of felony counts, including kidnapping.

Investigators say that on the morning of April 3, Mr. Hakken, 35, went to his mother-in-law's home north of Tampa, tied her up and abducted his sons, Chase, 2, and Cole, 4.

The incident happened a day after a judge notified the Hakkens that their parental rights had been severed.

Authorities have said they reviewed surveillance video showing the couple preparing to set sail from Madeira Beach a few hours after the April 3 kidnapping.

The new affidavit says investigators learned during the search for the family that Mrs. Hakken and a woman identified as Britteny Littlefield of Cottonwood, Ala., chatted on Facebook.

The affidavit does not provide details, but says Alabama authorities have talked with Littlefield and found that Mrs. Hakken, 34, asserted during the chat that she was in Tampa on April 5, two days after the kidnapping.

Efforts by the Tampa Bay Times to locate a woman with that name and location for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Mrs. Hakken's Facebook page is almost entirely private, so investigators were seeking permission to obtain its photos and messages from the social network company.

An investigator wrote that "it is known that social networks and the communication through them can be used to facilitate escape, concealment of significant others, parental abductions and evasion of law enforcement."

Another affidavit sought permission to search a laptop found with Mr. Hakken after the family came ashore in a Cuban marina.

"During a further search of the materials that were in the suspect's possession, it was discovered that there were numerous electronically created documents that detailed (Mr. Hakken's) plans to defect from the United States of America with the victims of the kidnapping," the affidavit states.

A third search warrant affidavit also filed Tuesday seeks permission to search Mr. Hakken's Google email account.

After the Hakkens were flown last week to Tampa, the couple was booked and the boys were returned to their grandparents.

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