Missing Boy Is Fine: He Was Hiding in Garage

6-year-old set off frantic search after hot-air balloon took off
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2009 5:27 PM CDT
An image rendered from video and released by KMGH-TV in Denver.   ((AP Photo/KMGH-TV ))
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A 6-year-old Colorado boy thought to have floated off in a helium balloon has been found safe at his home—hiding in a cardboard box in the garage attic. Sheriff Jim Alderman turned to reporters during a news conference and gave a thumbs up. "He's at the house." Falcon Heene was apparently hiding there the entire time a frantic rescue effort unfolded on live TV.

The boy's brother earlier told authorities that he saw Falcon get in the balloon before it took off from the family's yard in Fort Collins. It's not clear whether he made a mistake or the boys were playing a prank. Neighbor Bob Licko said he was leaving home when he heard commotion in the yard. He said he saw two boys on the roof with a camera. "One of the boys yelled to me that his brother was way up in the air." Licko said the boy's mother seemed distraught and his father was running around the house.