Photo Credit: Wife Swap/ABC
We’ve been duped, America!
We all held our breath and watched as a homemade balloon took flight in Colorado last week, thinking 6-year-old Falcon Heene was in the basket below. But, the joke's on us apparently, as Sheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County, Colo., said Sunday that the whole balloon incident was "a hoax" and a "publicity stunt" on the part of the Heene family.
The family, who was featured on an episode of ABC's Wife Swap, was looking for a little more airtime and "put on a very good show for us, and we bought it," the sheriff said. "We believe that we have evidence at this point to indicate that it was a publicity stunt done with the hopes of marketing themselves or better marketing themselves for a reality television show at some point in the future," Alderden said.
Falcon was found hiding in the attic of parents Richard and Mayumi Heene's home after the balloon landed and it was discovered that he wasn't inside. And now charges are most likely going to be filed against the couple. "We were looking at Class 3 misdemeanor, which hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances," he said. "We are talking to the district attorney, federal officials to see if perhaps there aren't additional federal charges that are appropriate in this circumstance."
The Heenes declined to comment Saturday evening as they left the sheriff's office.
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