Things are not looking good for “Balloon Boy’s” parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene. The couple will voluntarily turn themselves in to authorities if they are charged with a felony for falsely claiming their son Falcon, 6, was carried away in their homemade flying saucer last week. Investigators believe the family may have had an accomplice. As well, Social Services is trying to determine as to whether all three of their sons are safe in the home.
“I have instructed my client, ‘Do not sit down with law enforcement and try and talk your way out of something. You don’t know what you’re dealing with,'” said lawyer David Lane, who also warned the Sheriff’s office not to place the family in handcuffs because it would create more frenzy.
Social Services also is investigating whether the three young boys are safe with their parents, who may be charged with two felonies — conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (If convicted, they face up to six years in prison and a fine of $500,000.)
Meanwhile, investigators believe the family had accomplices.
They are trying to track down Robert Thomas, a Denver man who sold his story to Gawker.com. In e-mail exchanges provided to the Web site, Thomas shows that he and Heene were planning a media stunt to promote a proposed reality show that would feature Heene as a mad scientist who carries out various scientific experiments.
“This will be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947, and the result will be a dramatic increase in local and national awareness about The Heene Family, our Reality Series, as well as the UFO Phenomenon in general,” according to a copy of the show’s proposal that Thomas provided to Gawker.
Investigators are also examining whether a media outlet played a role in the hoax, agreeing to pay the Heene family with regard to the balloon incident.
Larimer County, Colo., Sheriff Jim Alderden wouldn’t name the outlet, but said it was a show that blurs “the line between entertainment and news.”
“Let’s call it [my statement], short of speculation, that a media outlet was in on the hoax, but let’s not discount the possibility,” he told reporters.
Yikes… if this was indeed a hoax, this family is in for a world of trouble and those kids might have their world turned upside down, especially if their parents face jail time.