TAMPA -- The couple who authorities say kidnapped their two young boys were seen leaving John's Pass in a 25-foot sailboat hours after the abduction in Tampa, according to a Hillsborough Sheriff's spokesman.
The search for the boys has now shifted to the Gulf of Mexico. It was not known in which direction the vessel was heading.
Hillsborough County deputies have confirmed that a black truck allegedly used in the abduction of two brothers was located in Madeira Beach on Thursday.
The 2006 GMC pickup truck was located abandoned in the John's Pass Parking Garage located at 12901 Gulf Blvd.
HCSO detectives and crime scene technicians are processing the vehicle, which has since been brought back to Hillsborough County.
Pinellas County deputies initially responded after someone reported seeing a vehicle that matched a description on Amber Alerts issued across the Southeast. Four states issued the alerts including Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
Chase and Cole Hakken were still wearing their pajamas when deputies say their own parents took them by force from a Lake Magdalene home.
"The grandfather had left for work. The break-in occurred shortly after -- that's when he accosted her, tied her up and then took off with the children in the car," said Corporal Bodie.
Just two and four years old, the brothers lived with their grandparents, who had temporary custody.
FBI agents are working with local law enforcement to find the two- and four-year-old and their parents. They say color billboards are going up around the Southeast and Southwest.
Detectives also say they've received tips about several sightings of the Hakken family in several different states. Authorities in Southeastern Tennessee put out a statewide Amber Alert Wednesday night after a reported sighting near Etowah, Tennessee in the area of Highway 30 and Highway 411. The location is on the edge of the Smoky Mountains.
"We have at this point received tips from various states alleging sightings of the children and family. We are working with our law enforcement partners and the FBI and trying to vet those tips and see if it is accurate information," said Colonel Lusczynski.
"We don't expect or anticipate them hurting the children and we're hoping again that this just comes down to a very peaceful situation where we can resolve the situation and potentially maybe even put the family back together," said FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier.
Louisiana Police says Joshua and Sharyn Hakken lost custody of the boys after a bizarre encounter in 2012. A Slidell Police Department detective tells us by phone they were called to a disturbance at a hotel.
"Mr. Hakken was in possession of narcotics and he had some weapons with him. At that point in time, he was placed under arrest," said Slidell Police Detective Daniel Seuzeneau.
"They were speaking some bizarre words that alarmed our officers. They were talking about going to California and when I read the report yesterday, it was something towards the effect of they were trying to beat the Armageddon and get to California which was, obviously, very bizarre," he said.
Louisiana detectives say the couple told officers they were trying to beat "Armageddon" and "complete their ultimate journey." They also say the father tried to kidnap the boys at gunpoint from a foster care home in Louisiana but failed.
Law enforcement has characterized the couple at "anti-government" but aren't sure where they are headed or why.
"Anytime something like this happens there's usually at least one person that knows something that's going on and we're hoping that that person will come forward and at least provide some advice or even some input or perspective as to the mindset of what they're really looking to do here," said FBI Special Agent Couvertier.