Colo. Sheriff: Balloon Boy Case a 'Hoax'

No charges yet, but evidence points to stunt to boost reality show
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2009 12:41 PM CDT
Richard Heene, left, leads his sons Ryo, center, and Falcon out of their home in Fort Collins,, Colo., early on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – A Colorado sheriff announced this afternoon that the balloon boy case was a hoax and that he would be pursuing criminal charges. In a rambling news conference, Sheriff Jim Alderden said that the drama surrounding Falcon Heene was likely a publicity stunt designed to hype a reality show.

"Needless to say they put on a very good show for us," said Alderden of Falcon's parents, while reminding media that "These people are actors." No charges have yet been filed, but police executed a search warrant at the Heene home last night.