U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor worried about boys abducted in Tampa and taken to Cuba

04/09/13 Janelle Irwin
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The man accused of abducting his two sons from Tampa last week is reportedly in Cuba. An Associated Press reporter in Havana wrote "the family appeared to interact normally" there. Tampa Congress member Kathy Castor told reporters during an unrelated event today that she is working hard to ensure the family is returned to the U.S.

The news comes just days after Castor returned from a trip to Cuba. The U.S. Representative said she’s in contact with authorities including the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.

“I’ve also communicated with the U.S. Consul Office in Havana this morning. We are getting them together to ensure that the grandmother can communicate with the Cuban officials in Havana. I’ve been advised that the Cuban government and the U.S Consul will be meeting later this morning and I’m going to check back after noon to see what has come of those discussions.”

The two young children were allegedly taken from their grandmother’s Tampa home last week. Their father, Joshua Hakken is suspected of fleeing with them by boat with his wife. The father lost custody of the children after an being found with marijuana, a gun and a large knife. There were also reports that he and his wife were suicidal. Castor, a Democrat, said the family’s well being is still being investigated.

“I have concern with the travel there. [Do] they have enough food? What … a lot of those questions we’ve posed and [we’ll] hopefully be getting an update and the Sheriff’s office will be receiving an update shortly.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says they’re working with the FBI who is in contact with the U.S. State Department. U.S. Representative Castor said she is confident they will be returned to the U.S. soon. According to the El Nuevo Herald, the family is in the custody of Cuban immigration officials.

note: after this story was filed, the office of Rep. Castor notified the press that her father, Judge Donald Castor, had passed away Tuesday.

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