Three days after the world watched a giant balloon fly through the air as a tearful family expressed fears that their 6-year-old boy could be inside, authorities announced what millions already suspected: The whole thing was staged.
Photo above shows the balloon in flight over southwestern Weld County, Colorado.
The photo below shows a police officer and a National Transportation Safety Board investigator inspecting the scene where the balloon landed last Thursday in a field southeast of Hudson, Colorado.
The photo above shows Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden during a Sunday press conference.
From the CNN report:
On Sunday, Alderden called the incident a "hoax," adding that investigators believe the evidence indicates that "it was a publicity stunt" by the family in hopes of "better marketing themselves for a reality television show at some point in the future."
The parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, met in a Hollywood acting school and "put on a very good show for us," Alderden said. Authorities know there was "a conspiracy" between them, he added.
Denver Channel 9 reported that the Heene family hired high profile Denver attorney David Lane.
The CNN story is here. The Denver Channel 9 story is here.
This is a "nightmare for the family," Lane says. He says the parents are willing to turn themselves in to face any charges.
Lane says he wants to avoid "the public spectacle and humiliation" of police arresting the couple in the presence of their children.