Kidnapped Children Returned From Cuba to US

Parents who abducted their children after losing custody were returned by federal agents in Cuba.
3:26 | 04/10/13

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Transcript for Kidnapped Children Returned From Cuba to US
Tension keeps on building. To that florida couple who kidnapped their own children and fled to cuba back in florida this morning in custody and abc's gio benitez has all the details. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Good morning to you, george. That couple now facing serious kidnapping charges, locked up in this tampa jail. Just before dawn, joshua and sharyn hakken were led into the hillsborough county jail in handcuffs after the cuban government handed them over to the fbi. Not unusual for people to flee to other countries. Reporter: A far cry from the way investigators say they left the country on this boat after allegedly kidnapping the two children they lost custody of setting sail with them from the tampa bay area to havana, cuba, 318 miles away. A long day and long evening. Reporter: In a hastily arranged press conference overnight federal agents said the two boys, 2-year-old choice and 4-year-old cole were safely back in u.S. Custody. Their grandparents were granted custody of them just last week. Right now we're just looking forward to sitting, getting them in our arms and hugging them and being with them and I'm getting them home where they'll be safe again. Reporter: In investigators say the hakkens kidnapped their sons wednesday in their grandparents' home. The year-long custody battle began after their father was arrested on drug possession charges. The grandmother frantically called police. 911, what is your emergency? My son-in-law just kidnapped my two grandchildren. They're under the state custody. He's not supposed to be near them. He tied me up. Reporter: Hours later surveillance captured the couple preparing "the salty paw quantico." This photo shows them taking off to atlanta with the boys on board allegedly but cuba authorities found them and abc news was there as a cuban official took the mother off the boat tuesday afternoon. And amazingly this all became national news when an american reporter in cuba spotted that boat. Spotted the father and said to him, are you josh and the guy said, yeah. Elizabeth? Oh, boy, all right, thank you very much, gio. For more we bring in "gma's" legal analyst dan abrams. The united states does not have an extradition treaty with cuba. Pretty incredible it was resolved between the two governments so quickly. Remember, none of the alleged kidnappers here have any connections to cuba which would have changed this fundamentally. I think a lot of people say, well, there's no treaty why would they have cooperated? Why not. Meaning in the sense there's no reason really that the cubans would want them in the country. There's this sense, oh, there are all these cuban fugitives there, true, there have been some over the years primarily in THE '60s AND '70s BUT TENDED TO Be much more politicized and have a connection to cuba in some way. Like in the elian gonzalez case, on both sides they're recognizing the rights to be returned to their parents. Elian gonzalez would be difference between of the connection to cuba and here they're facing serious kidnapping. A burglary charge, false imprisonment. This is serious stuff and not minor charges. The kids have been returned to the grandparents. All right, dan abrams. Who do have custody. Great, thank you.

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