“This is a hoax. It was a publicity stunt,” Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said in a press conference today.
Some other highlights:
- They are asking prosecutors to charge the Heenes with: Filing a false police report (Class 3 misdemeanour) Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Class 4 Felony) Attempting to influence a public servant (Class 4 Felony) Conspiracy relating to commission of the other charges
- Filing a false police report (Class 3 misdemeanour)
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Class 4 Felony)
- Attempting to influence a public servant (Class 4 Felony)
- Conspiracy relating to commission of the other charges
- The sheriff seemed to indicate they received some sort of confession, but noted Colorado law forbids him from confirming as much or discussing any scientific evidence, including polygraph tests.
- They spoke to all of the family members separately and, during the time of the flight and directly after, authorities believed that the life of the child was in jeopardy. They also believed Falcon’s attic story when they spoke to him after he was discovered.
- It wasn’t until the Larry King show that authorities had their first “aha” moment.
- The balloon would in fact support a 37 pound boy.
- “These people are actors,” the sheriff said. The Heene parents met in acting school in Hollywood.
- They are investigating whether media outlets had knowledge of the hoax. He did not specify which media outlets.
- Child services will be investigating the family.
- “Based on interviews, we obtained enough probable cause to execute search warrants last evening. We were looking for computers, emails, phone records, any contracts or any other documents that might” relate to a proposed reality television show, the sheriff said.
- If the prosecutor decides to pursue the charges, the county will also seek restitution. No figures are currently available.
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