"Balloon Boy" Story Officially A Hoax; Felony, Misdemeanor Charges On The Way

Illustration for article titled "Balloon Boy" Story Officially A Hoax; Felony, Misdemeanor Charges On The Way

A visibly shaken Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden, giving a press conference on the "Balloon Boy" story, has announced that the entire story was indeed a hoax. Criminal charges are expected to be filed shortly.


Here's a clip of the press conference, wherein Alderden describes the "a-ha moment" he experienced after watching the Heene family's interview with Wolf Blitzer, wherein little Falcon uttered his now-infamous line, "We did this for the show."

Later in the press conference, Alderden announced the following possible charges:
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Class 4 felony)
False reporting to authorities (Class 3 Misdemeanor)
Attempting to influence a public servant (Class 4 Felony)

The FBI and FAA will also be contacted to determine whether or not Federal charges apply, Alderden says, and the state is considering seeking restitution for the manhours, costs, and resources taken up by the elaborate scheme. At one point, Alderden also mentioned that Richard and Mayumi Heene met in Los Angeles, at acting school. "They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."

Update: Alderden says the scheme was planned for approximately 2 weeks, and was a set-up, as many suspected, to gain publicity and help the family secure a reality show. He also says the Sheriff's department has not contacted Robert Thomas, the man who gave an exclusive interview to Gawker yesterday about planning a hoax with Heene, but that they are aware of him and are interested in speaking with him.

Child Protective Services have been also notified and will be investigating the situation. Alderden says the children, due to their age, are unlikely to face any charges. Poor Falcon. I think being known as "Balloon Boy" for the rest of his life is punishment enough.



"the elaborate scheme"...I'm not getting on you personally Hortense (because I love ya!) but I have seen this whole thing called "elaborate" several places and I really have to question whether it was. To me it seems like more like a "half-baked" scheme that unraveled in less than 24 hours in front of the eyes of the world".

Seems to me the extent of the planning was "Let's let the balloon go, lie to the authorities and get the kids to lie too." I mean the most complicated part was probably convincing little falcon too keep himself in the attic for four hours! (Did they give him a Nintendo DS and snacks or what?)

The dad is clearly unstable, and I have to question why the mom would go along with his crazy crap (she comes across as almost subservient on air), but "elaborate" their plan did NOT seem to be. #balloonboy