Balloon Boy Family to Face Charges

Sheriff offers few details, but hints he suspects a hoax
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2009 8:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Colorado sheriff said tonight that criminal charges are expected to be filed in the balloon boy case. He didn't specify what the charges would be, but he suggested that investigators smelled a hoax. "I think you get the gist," said Sheriff Jim Alderden when asked directly if the family faked the incident. He would not elaborate. The development came after parents Richard and Mayumi Heene spent most of the day at the sheriff's office. 

"We were looking at a Class 3 misdemeanor, which hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances," said Alderden, referring to the charge for filing a false report. "We are talking to the district attorney, federal officials to see if perhaps there aren't additional federal charges that are appropriate." Earlier in the day, Richard Heene promised a "big announcement," only to postpone a subsequent news conference.