Heene Family to Face Charges Over Balloon Boy Hoax

The family of ‘Balloon Boy’ Falcon Heene will face criminal charges for what authorities are calling an elaborate hoax. In a press conference on Sunday, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said authorities have evidence Richard Heene and his wife staged the release of a homemade hot air balloon and subsequent report their son was missing as a “publicity stunt.”

balloon-boy3

The entire nation was glued to the story on Thursday when the Heene family reported their youngest son, Falcon Heene, was missing and might be aboard an escaped homemade hot air balloon. When the balloon finally touched down hours later, the boy was not inside. Shortly afterward, the boy was allegedly found hiding in a box in the attic of the family garage.

Speculation the entire incident might have been a hoax quickly made the rounds after it was discovered the Heene family had previously starred on two episodes of Wife Swap and had been shopping around to star in their own reality show. The hoax theory gained further weight when confused Balloon Boy Falcon Heene said on Larry King Live that “we did this for the show.”

The Heene family home was searched on Saturday by local authorities looking for evidence the ‘Balloon Boy’ drama had been staged. On Sunday, Sheriff Jim Alderden stated police believe they have enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Richard Heene and his wife for the alleged publicity stunt. The Heenes could face charges of conspiracy, false reporting, contributing to the deliquency of a minor and attempting to influence a public official.

>> Previously: Balloon Boy Throws Up on Today Show, Father Denies Hoax

Balloon Boy Found Alive Hiding in Family Garage

Six-year-old Falcon Heene, dubbed the Balloon Boy in the media, has been found alive and unhurt. According to a report by CNN, the boy was allegedly discovered hiding in the family garage.

balloon-boy1
The Heene family on 'Wife Swap' - ABC

Falcon Heene was reported missing by his family after an experimental homemade balloon broke away from its tether at his home in northern Colorado. The boy’s brother had reportedly told his parents he saw the six-year-old climb into the balloon before it flew away.

After Falcon Heene was reported missing, hundreds of volunteers and emergency services workers began searching for the boy. The flyaway balloon was videotaped during its  100 mile journey across Colorado, with every frame examined for signs of the missing boy. The balloon landed intact near Colorado Springs earlier this afternoon.

>> Previously: Weird News: Missing Balloon Boy Family Appeared on ‘Wife Swap’