Colorado sheriff: Runaway balloon saga was hoax - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Colorado sheriff: Runaway balloon saga was hoax

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KWWL) - A Colorado sheriff says it was hoax when parents reported that their 6-year-old son was in a flying saucer-like helium balloon hurtling away from their home.

Sheriff Jim Alderden says Richard and Mayumi Heene "put on a very good show for us, and we bought it."

The sheriff says no charges have been filed yet, and the parents aren't under arrest. He says he expects to recommend charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, making a false report to authorities and attempting to influence a public servant.

Some of the most serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

He says all three children knew of the Thursday hoax, but likely won't face charges because of their ages. The oldest son is 10.

Online News Director Nate Leding

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