Parental Kidnapping in the US – Dramatic Recovery of Girl Abducted To Florida

November 9 , 2014


Mother Loses Custody and Father Is Entitled To Reimbursement Of His Private Investigator Costs And Attorney’s Fees.


In 2002, the Mother in this case filed a notice that she would be seeking to relocate to Florida with her daughter, Chrissy (who was then seven years old).  The trial court denied her request but allowed her to go to Florida with the child for a vacation.

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Unbeknownst to the trial court or the Father, by the time the Mother went on this “vacation”, she had already turned over possession of her Tennessee home to a third party under a lease-purchase agreement.  The Mother took the child to Florida, moved into a house with her mother (the child’s Grandmother), and subsequently blocked the Father’s telephone calls to his daughter.


Now unable to get visitation (or phone calls) with Chrissy, the trial court granted the Father’s petition for emergency custody.  The Father hired private investigators to locate his child, and Chrissy and her Mother were soon discovered in Florida.

The sheriff’s deputy attempted to serve the Mother with court papers and this lead to a dramatic car chase.  The Grandmother crashed into the private investigator’s vehicle and forced the Father’s car off the road.

The Father was awarded custody of Chrissy and the trial court had harsh words for the Mother.

The trial court noted the deterioration in the Mother’s mental health and listed this as an additional change of circumstance.  “I just don’t think [the Mother] can be trusted with this child anymore.  That really concerns me, this child’s safety.”

The trial court found the Mother to be guilty of fifteen (15) counts of criminal contempt for the denial of the Father’s visitation and one count of criminal contempt for moving Chrissy to Florida in defiance of the court’s previous order.  The Mother was granted supervised visitation only.


The judge gave the Mother the option of serving 150 days in jail or paying the Father’s private investigator fees ($14,800).  In addition, the trial court awarded the Father his attorney’s fees ($15,127.50).

The Mother appealed, arguing that it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to award to the Father the $14,800 in private investigator fees as well as his attorney’s fees.  In unsympathetic language, the Court basically explained that the Mother had done this to herself.

The Court of Appeals stated, “Despite rather implausible testimony by both Mother and Grandmother that they were supportive of Chrissy’s relationship with Father, their conduct belied this.”

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in all respects.

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Search continues for two boys believed abducted from Florida

April 5 2013


This is not the first time a man with ties to Louisiana is suspected of abducting his two young sons. Last year, the boys’ biological father reportedly kidnapped them at gunpoint from foster care in Louisiana.

Today, authorities in Louisiana and several other states continue to search for Joshua Michael Hakken, a 35-year-old with ties to the Slidell area who is suspected of taking his 4- and 2-year-old sons from their maternal grandparents’ home in Florida after tying up their grandmother.

“It’s the manner in which the kids were taken that concerns law enforcement,” FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier said during a news conference today.


Hakken, 35, entered his mother-in-law’s house north of Tampa, tied her up and fled with the children, authorities say. Hakken, the boys and the boys’ mother might be traveling in a black 2006 GMC pickup bearing University of Florida license plate U95KT.

Tips about 4-year-old Cole Hakken and 2-year-old Chase Hakken have poured in from several states, an FBI agent and a Hillsborough County, Fla., sheriff’s spokesman said during a news conference.

Officials say Hakken and 34-year-old Sharyn Patricia Hakken are the prime suspects in the abduction. “Both suspects are anti-government and have attempted a previous abduction at gunpoint in Louisiana,” an earlier news release says. Authorities are focused on the children and not the parents’ political views, Couvertier said. “We’re working on the safe return of the entire family, specifically the children. We don’t anticipate or expect them to hurt their children. And, hopefully, we can put the family back together.”

The Hillsborough sheriff’s office has issued an arrest warrant for Joshua Hakken. He faces two counts each of kidnapping, child neglect and false imprisonment and one count each of burglary with a battery and grand theft auto.

Joshua Hakken lost custody of his sons last year after his arrest on a drug possession charge, authorities say. He later tried to take them at gunpoint from a foster home in Louisiana, they added.

The two boys have been living with their maternal grandparents since last year, officials said. A Louisiana court informed the Hakkens on Tuesday that they’d been stripped of their parental rights. This morning, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide alert after the family’s vehicle was believed to have been seen about 8 p.m. Wednesday in Etowah in southeast Tennessee.

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Attorney advise non-custodial parents to request the children’s passports be held by the Court


CNN posted an article in October of 2009 that raised the question about what a parent can do to prevent child abduction. According to the article, Christopher Savoie, an American father, was granted full custody of his children by a Tennessee Court after learning that they were removed to Japan without his consent by their mother. He went to Japan to retrieve the children and was put in jail for his attempt to abduct his own children.

Japan is not a signator to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Mr. Savoie was arrested by Japanese police officers called by the children’s mother when he attempted to take the children to the American consulate to obtain their passports to return to the U.S.

In cases involving worries of abduction, I advise non-custodial parents to request the children’s passports be held by the Court. A passport may be issued to a parent with sole custody, and any parent with worry that the other may abduct the child is encouraged to push for a joint legal custody order, to prevent the unconsented-to issuance of a passport. Additionally, when parties settle, I include language indicating that Minnesota shall have sole exclusive jurisdiction over custody and parenting time disputes. However, I also advise my clients that I cannot guarantee a foreign Court will feel bound by that language.

The U.S. State Department’s web site for obtaining a passport for a minor child can be reached at

The passport application form specifies the document requirements to obtain a passport, which include:

To submit an application for a child under age 16 both parents or the child’s legal guardian(s) must appear and present the following:

  • Evidence of the child’s U.S. citizenship,
  • Evidence of the child’s relationship to parents/guardian(s), AND
  • Parental/guardian identification.



  • Second parent’s notarized written statement consenting to passport issuance for the child,
  • Primary evidence of sole authority to apply, OR
  • A written statement (made under penalty of perjury) explaining the second parent’s unavailability.

Cooper & Reid, LLC is a Minnesota law firm focusing on family law and social security disability matters for clients of modest means. Our community-focused practice brings many years of experience and high-quality legal representation to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. We offer sliding scale fees to low-income clients and innovative representation arrangements for pro se litigants. Find out more about Cooper & Reid, LLC at 

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The following information is excerpted from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In light of the high profile abductions of several children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) encourages families not to panic. Instead, parents need to empower themselves with information that can help protect their children.


  • Parental abductions and runaway cases make up the majority of missing children in the United States. In 2002 there were about 797,500 children reported missing, or nearly 2,185 per day. The vast majority of these cases were recovered quickly; however, the parent or guardian was concerned enough to contact law enforcement and they placed the child into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center – a computerized national database of criminal justice information. It is available to Federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
  • Each year there are about 3,000 to 5,000 non-family abductions reported to police, most of which are short term sexually-motivated cases. About 200 to 300 of these cases, or 6 percent, make up the most serious cases where the child was murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
  • The NCMEC analyzed more than 4200 attempted abductions from February 2005 to March 2010 and found that 38% of attempted abductions occur while a child is walking alone to or from school, riding the school bus or riding a bicycle; 37% of attempted abductions occur between the hours of 2:00pm through 7:00pm on a weekday; 43% of attempted abductions involve children between the ages of 10 and 14; 72% of attempted abduction victims are female; 68% of attempted abductions involve the suspect driving a vehicle.
  • Research shows that of the 58,000 non-family abductions each year 63% involved a friend, long-term acquaintance, neighbor, caretaker, baby sitter or person of authority; only 37% involved a stranger.


  • Be sure to go over the rules with your children about whose homes they can visit when you’re not there and discuss the boundaries of where they can and can’t go in the neighborhood.
  • Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away, and practice role-playing and basic safety skills with them.
  • Teach your children in whose car they may ride. Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or trusted adult.
  • Make sure children know their names, address, telephone numbers and how to use the telephone.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors.


  • Always check first with your parents or the person in charge before you go anywhere or do anything.
  • Always take a friend when you play or go somewhere.
  • Don’t be tricked by adults who offer you special treats or gifts or ask you for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no and get away from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or confused. Trust your feelings.
  • Don’t get into a car or go near a car with someone in it unless you are with your parents or a trusted adult.
  • Never take a ride from someone without checking first with your parents.
  • Never go into a public restroom by yourself.
  • Never go alone to the mall, movies, video arcades or parks.
  • Stay safe when you’re home alone by keeping the door locked. Do not open the door for or talk to anyone who stops by unless the person is a trusted family friend or relative.


In situations where parents have not resolved the issue of child custody, and one of the parents has ties to another country, there is the risk that that parent might take the child with them to a foreign country. Parents who are in this situation can find useful information about international parental abduction in “A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping” published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For emergency assistance contact:

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.
We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

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Parental Child Abduction and Abducted Children Recovery

Christmas holidays – A time for parental child abductions

The holiday season sees a sharp rise in the number of parental abductions in Australia.  With emotions running high between separated and divorced parents during the Christmas/New Year period, a small number of parents will take the drastic step of abducting their own children.  Most of these children are eventually recovered, but a small number of parents will experience the agony of never seeing their children again. Read more below.

The number of British children abducted by one of their parents and taken abroad is set to double as the holidays start, the Foreign Office has warned.

Read more here: The Telegraph

Airlines Sued for Their Role in Parental Child Abduction

Read more here:Lawdiva’s Blog

Steps You can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction

Read the article here: ABP World Group Ltd`s Blog

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 1

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 2

For Help and assistance: ABP World Group international recovery services

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ABP World Group international child recovery service

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child. We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18. Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings, Runaway children and Counseling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

We also provide:

• Executive protection
• Close protection high or low profile
• Surveillance
• Investigation
• Security consulting
• Medical services
• Anti kidnap logistics and planning
• Abducted and missing children recovery
• Missing person investigations
• Panic room / Safe room construction
• Risk Management

For more information, visit our web site:

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ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service ( Child Abduction)

We can locate, negotiate and retreave your children from any country in the world.

We specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

Areas of expertise: International parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings,
Runaway children and Counselling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult periode.
We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

One key to Abp World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

We understand that your case investigation needs to be tailored to your pacific circumstances and must changing as the mission evolves.


ABP World Group provides Close Protection services, surveillance and investigation worldwide.Our personnel are discrete and professional, with international training and experience.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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