It’s looking more and more like the Balloon Boy incident was a hoax. Despite both the sheriff’s and the father’s earlier insistence that accusations were off-base, that same sheriff now says criminal charges are likely to be filed in the incident. Earlier Richard Heene, the father of the boy who was thought to have been set adrift in a homemade balloon, teased media camped outside his home saying he had a “big announcement” coming up.
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said Saturday night that at least Class 3 misdemeanor charges were likely, but the parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene weren’t under arrest. Alderden said he was consulting with the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal agencies on whether other charges were warranted.
The Heenes spent much of the afternoon at the sheriff’s office and were headed home.
The saga grew stranger by the day. Early Saturday, Richard Heene knocked on the windows of journalists camped outside his home and promised a “big announcement” in a few hours, then did an about-face when he told reporters that they should leave questions in a cardboard box on the front doorstep.
“Absolutely no hoax. I want your questions in the box,” Heene said, waving a cardboard box before going back in the home.
Richard Heene later left the house in a red minivan and drove to the sheriff’s office. A few hours later, two other people, including a man wearing a shirt identifying him as a Larimer County sheriff’s office victim advocate, arrived at the home, and the boy’s mother, Mayumi Heene went to the sheriff’s office.
The couple’s three sons remained home, apparently being watched by sheriff’s officials. Authorities wouldn’t comment on what was happening.
“We’re trying to figure things out. That’s all I can say,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said.
Alderden had said that he wanted to re-interview the family after Falcon told CNN that “you said we did this for a show” when asked why he didn’t come out of his hiding place. Then Falcon got sick during two separate TV interviews when asked why he hid.
Seeing as a victim advocate is involved, I’m guessing they might be looking into whether little Falconer was forced to make those statements by his parents. If the story is true and the whole thing was a hoax, my heart goes out to those kids. We’ll bring you updates on this story as details emerge.