Sharyn Hakken's husband, Joshua, also seemed to show few signs of trouble. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1996 to 1998 but did not graduate, according to academy spokesman Sgt. Vann Miller, who declined to provide further details.
Joshua Hakken also worked as an engineer, employed at one point by Hahn Engineering, Inc. A woman who answered the company's phone Wednesday declined comment. Last year, the couple started their own company, listing Sharyn as president and Joshua as vice president, but it's unclear what type of business it was.
Then, last year, police in Louisiana came upon a disturbing scene in a hotel room: The Hakkens were inside with drugs and weapons, talking about "completing their ultimate journey" and saying they were traveling across the country to "take a journey to the Armageddon," Daniel Seuzeneau, a spokesman for Slidell Police, said in a news release. Their two children were in the room at the time.
After that arrest, the Hakkens lost custody of the boys, who were initially sent to a foster home. Authorities say Joshua Hakken tried and failed to kidnap them at gunpoint from the home.
Last week, the boys' maternal grandparents were granted custody. That's when police say Joshua Hakken broke into the home, tied up his mother-in-law, took the children and eventually set sail for Cuba. An affidavit made public Thursday said Joshua Hakken used flex cuffs to tie his mother-in-law to a filing cabinet in her house.
Federal, state and local authorities searched by air and sea for the sailboat Joshua Hakken had recently purchased. They were found in Cuba, thanks to a crucial tip from the person who sold the boat to Hakken.
The blinds at the Hakken household were drawn tight Wednesday. An "infowars.com" bumper sticker was pasted on their mailbox, a reference to conservative radio personality Alex Jones' website.
A white SUV was in the driveway where neighbors said they usually saw a small boat parked. The boat was such a common presence that it was noticeable when it disappeared last week, said neighbor Simon Castillo.
"I'm just surprised the little thing made it all the way to Cuba," Castillo said.
Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy contributed to this report from Miami.