Deputies searched the home of a couple caught up in Colorado's 'balloon boy' saga after the sheriff said he was pursuing criminal charges in a case that at first sparked fear for the child, then relief he was okay, to suspicions of a hoax.
The boy's parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, met with Larimer County investigators for much of yesterday afternoon amid lingering questions about whether he perpetrated a publicity stunt when his 6-year-old son Falcon vanished into the rafters of his garage while the world thought he was zooming through the sky in a flying saucer-like helium balloon.
But Sheriff Jim Alderden didn't say who would be charged or what the charges would be. His deputies later showed up at the Heene's Fort Collins home with a search warrant and at least three of them began a search. Sgt Ian Stewart declined so say what they were after.
Alderden didn't call Thursday's hours-long drama a hoax, but he expressed disappointment that he couldn't level more serious charges in the incident, which sent police and the military scrambling to save young Falcon Heene as millions of worried television viewers watched.
Suspicion that the balloon saga was a hoax arose almost immediately after Falcon was found hiding in a cardboard box. Heene, a storm chaser and inventor whose family has appeared on the reality show "Wife Swap", and his wife had said one of the boy's older brothers had said Falcon was aboard the homemade balloon when it took off.