Sheriff: Balloon Boy Saga was a hoax - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sheriff: Balloon Boy Saga was a hoax

Saturday morning Richard Heene told reporters to but their questions for him in a cardboard box Saturday morning Richard Heene told reporters to but their questions for him in a cardboard box
The Heene Family. 6-year-old Falcon in the center The Heene Family. 6-year-old Falcon in the center
Fort Collins Sheriff Jim Alderden said in a press conference Sunday morning "They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it." Fort Collins Sheriff Jim Alderden said in a press conference Sunday morning "They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Fort Collins Sheriff says what has been known as the "Balloon Boy Saga" has been determined to be a hoax.  In a press conference Sunday morning Sheriff Jim Alderden said the incident was a publicity stunt perpetrated by the family in hopes of securing a reality television show based on the lives of the Heene family sometime in the future. 

Alderden says Richard and Mayumi Heene "put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."

The sheriff says no charges have been filed yet, and the parents aren't under arrest. But he says he expects to recommend charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and attempting to influence a public servant.  Some of the most serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.  The sheriff says all 3 children knew of balloon hoax, likely won't face charges because of their age.

Alderden says interviews with the parents Saturday resulted in enough information to get a warrant to search the house. He says they were looking for computers, e-mails, phone records and financial records.

Saturday night the Sheriff said criminal charges would be filed in saga of boy who was believed to be in balloon.  This after a "big announcement" from the father of a boy feared missing in the helium balloon failed to materialize.

Richard Heene told reporters early Saturday he would hold a news conference with an announcement later in the morning. But when he emerged from the house and came to microphones, he said only that he was putting a cardboard box outside the door to take written questions. He said he'd answer the questions Saturday evening.

The boy was found hiding in the garage attic after his parents reported he was in the loose balloon.

The Heenes spent much of Saturday afternoon at the sheriff's office being questioned by investigators..

Larimer County officials showed up at the Fort Collins home of Richard and Mayumi Heene with a warrant around 10 p.m. MDT Saturday and at least three of them began a search. Sgt. Ian Stewart declined so say what they were after.

Investigators were seen leaving the home just after midnight carrying several boxes and a computer.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)

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