Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Just days after the world watched a giant balloon fly through the Colorado sky, followed by the tearful family reunion with ‘Balloon Boy”, authorities have announced what millions of people already figured out on their own: the entire thing was staged by the publicity seeking parents.
When this first began, I, like most parents was shocked and couldn’t believe that something like this happened! I thought what I would do if that was my son or daughter. I’d be freaking out!
But now that it has come to light that this was in fact an elaborate hoax, it’s time to nail those parents by pressing charges, taking away their kids and sending them the bill for the taxpayers money that was spent on this “hoax”. Jail time would be nice too!
They seemed so genuine at first but this should be for the penalty if they deliberately set this whole thing up. You make the entire country worry about your child, only to have fooled us all. Now, it appears the final joke will be on the parents. I wonder if they knew when they came up with this idea that they could get in this much trouble.
It was carried out by a couple who met “in acting school in Hollywood” and “put on a very good show for us,” Sheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County said Sunday. Authorities know there was “a conspiracy” between Richard and Mayumi Heene, he said.
“It has been determined that this is a hoax,” the sheriff said, adding police “believe we have evidence at this point that it was a publicity stunt” by the family in hopes of “better marketing themselves for a reality show at some point in the future.”
The dramatic announcement included an admission by Alderden that authorities misled the media on Friday when they said they still believed it was not a hoax.
In fact, after a comment on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Thursday night by Falcon, the 6-year-old boy, “it became very clear to us at that point that they were lying,” Alderden said. But in order to get to the truth, “it was very important that they maintain their trust with us.” So investigators misled the media while they carried out their “game plan” of gathering the truth.
From the New York Times:
The announcement, by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, indicated that the authorities had gleaned new information from the family of Richard and Mayumi Heene after interviewing them for hours earlier in the day.
The office did not identify the specific charge or charges on Saturday, but said a Class 3 misdemeanor charge was possible, according to The Associated Press. False reporting of a crime falls under that class of misdemeanor.
The sheriff, Jim Alderden, said a Class 3 misdemeanor “hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances.” He added, “We are talking to the district attorney, federal officials to see if perhaps there aren’t additional federal charges that are appropriate in this circumstance.”
The A.P. reported that Larimer County authorities had a warrant and began conducting a search of the Heene home on Saturday night.
Alderden says they plan on filing charges against Richard and Mayumi Heene soon — one of which would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a felony. The other charges could be conspiracy, false reporting and attempt to influence an officer.
The most significant charges they face could result in a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The kids will probably not face charges, Alderden says, because of their age. Alderden says Child Protective Services has been notified and will be conducting an investigation.
Alderden says the hoax was a “planned event for two weeks.”