FORT COLLINS, Colorado: Police have searched the home of the family in the ”balloon boy” saga after the sheriff said he was pursuing criminal charges in a case that has sparked suspicions of a hoax.The boy’s parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, met investigators for much of Saturday afternoon amid questions about whether Mr Heene perpetrated a publicity stunt when his six-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.Sheriff Jim Alderden did not say who would be charged or what the charges would be. His deputies later showed up at the Heenes’ home in Fort Collins with a search warrant. They declined to say what they were looking for.Mr Alderden did not call the hours-long drama on Thursday a hoax, but he expressed disappointment that he could not level more serious charges in the incident, which sent police and the military scrambling to save Falcon as millions of worried television viewers watched.”We were looking at class three misdemeanour, which hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances,” Mr Alderden 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.”Suspicion that the balloon saga was a hoax arose almost immediately after Falcon was found hiding in a cardboard box. Mr 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 told them Falcon was aboard the home-made balloon when it took off.Mr Alderden initially said there was no reason to believe the incident was a hoax. Authorities questioned the Heenes again after Falcon turned to his father during a CNN interview on Thursday night and said ”you said we did this for a show” when asked why he did not come out of his hiding place.Falcon got sick during two separate TV interviews on Friday when asked again why he hid.Associated Press
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