Boys' 'fine, happy and sleepy' on return to U.S.
Cuba and the United States are divided by far more than the Straits of Florida.
But this week, on this case, U.S. officials repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the Cuban government's "extensive cooperation."
The Cuban foreign ministry said the Hakkens' boat pulled into a marina just west of Havana in bad weather on Sunday. "From the first moment," the two governments began exchanging information. To that point, FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier said the U.S. State Department learned about the Hakken family's whereabouts from Cuban authorities.
That all led to the return of Hakkens, and the family dog, to the United States.
But this time, they flew -- and were accompanied by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives, as well as U.S. federal and state law enforcement authorities.
U.S. diplomatic officials waited with the family at Havana's airport until a plane carrying American law enforcement officials arrived to bring them all back to Florida.
Checked out by a medic, Chase and Cole were "fine, happy and sleepy" as they boarded the plane, the sheriff's office said. The aircraft touched down around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at Tampa International Airport.
Some time later, the boys and dog were reunited with the grandparents.
Their parents, no longer on the lam, are being held away from the general population of the Florida jail.