TAMPA -- Authorities are examining new clues Friday in the search for two missing Tampa boys taken by their father three days ago.
It has been more than 36 hours since an Amber Alert was issued for 4-year-old Cole Hakken and 2-year-old Chase Hakken.
Authorities say their father, 35-year-old Joshua Michael Hakken, entered his mother-in-law's house in north Tampa, tied her up and left with the children Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities say they've obtained information that Joshua Hakken recently purchased a sailboat.
“We learned that after recovering the vehicle last night over in in John’s Pass Marina, that several hours after the abduction on Wednesday we believe they boarded this 25-foot sailboat. They were seen going underneath the John’s Pass Bridge and of course we all know that leads out into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Hillsborough Co. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Det. Larry McKinnon.
The boat's location is currently unknown.
"They could’ve gone anywhere," he said. "Obviously, north or south along the coast of Florida. There’s many inlets all the way up to the Panhandle and south down to Naples. So, we’re not only looking along coastline, we’ll be looking for any type of intercostal waterways or inlets they may have been able to get into.”
The boat is described as a 1972 Morgan 25M (25 foot) sailboat, blue bimini top, white mainsail, boat deck and cabin are white, hull is blue with “Salty” and a paw print in white on both sides with a white stripe near water line, bearing Flo.
On Thursday evening, officials located the vehicle they believe the boys were traveling in with their parents. The 2006 GMC pickup truck belonging to the family was located in the John's Pass Parking Garage located at 12901 Gulf Blvd in Madeira Beach.
Officials said the vehicle was located after receiving a tip.
Authorities said the find may yield clues that will lead to locating where the family is now.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which set up a command post at its Falkenburg Road office to receive calls and tips regarding the case, said it is following numerous leads. The Amber Alert has expanded to nearby states Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
The children's mother, 34-year-old Sharyn Patricia Hakken, is now believed to be with them.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued a statewide alert after the car was believed to be seen in southeast Tennessee.
Chase Hakken is 3 feet tall, weighs 33 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing pajamas. Cole Hakken is 3 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 44 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. He was also last seen wearing pajamas.
Deputies spent Wednesday afternoon and evening at the parents' home, searching for any clues that might indicate where they would go. Detectives said the parents should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with any information is asked to call 911 or to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.
Previous attempt to take the children, officials say
According to authorities, Hakken was previously involved in an attempted armed abduction of their children in Louisiana.
Officials said they have so far been able to determine that Joshua Hakken was arrested in a hotel on multiple drug charges in St. Tammany Parrish, Louisiana, where he had just attended some type of anti-government rally.
Slidell police say were called to the hotel in June in reference to a disturbance involving Mr. and Mrs. Hakken. Police say when they arrived the parents were acting in a bizarre manner that alarmed officers.
Police say they were talking about “completing their ultimate journey” and were traveling across the country to “take a journey to the Armageddon.” Police say both of the children were present in the hotel at the time.
Police say based on the parents’ behavior and the fact narcotics and weapons were inside the hotel room, officers called the Office of Child Services, who determined the children were in danger and needed to be taken into custody and temporarily placed in a foster home.
"This is not really about anti-government at this point," said David Couvertier, FBI. "Individual beliefs, people in our country should believe in whatever you want to believe in. It's the manner in which the kids have been taken is what concerns law enforcement and the reason we've taken the steps we have taken."
Joshua Hakken was placed under arrest and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and the use of a controlled and dangerous substance in the presence of minors. Officers also took custody of the guns.
Two weeks later, police say they were notified Joshua Hakken had shown up at the foster family home with a firearm demanding the return of his children. The foster parents called 911 and police say Hakken fled without his children.