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Investigation to begin after family's TV comments

VIEW SLIDESHOWMORE ON 9NEWS @ NOONFORT COLLINS - The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation of the family at the center of a runaway balloon incident.A 6-year-old was believed to be floating in a balloon over eastern Colorado Thursday but turned out to be hiding in his family's attic. -Home video of helium balloon's release - Boy in balloon incident gets sick during interviews/>

During a Friday morning briefing with the sheriff's office, Deputy Brian Thomas reiterated that the media interviews had sparked a lot of skepticism, according to NBC News. Thomas says the sheriff's office is conducting an investigation and will be looking into the physical and emotional state of the family as seen on the media.

The sheriff's office says itfeels it would be more conducive to conduct the interviews with the family on Saturday.

NBC News is also reporting that Thomas also says the investigation would be to see if there will be any charges.Alderden also spoke of the possible outcome should charges be filed. Hesays the family could be responsible for covering the cost of the search if criminal charges are filed. "Now, if this turns out to be a hoax and it can be proved that it is a hoax and criminal charges are filed certainly we would seek compensation for everybody's effort," Alderden said. Since the search was so extensive and included three different Colorado counties, Alderden did not have an estimate on the total cost. Aldersen stressed parents should never hesitate to contact authorities if they have a missing child situation. "If it's a legitimate incident we don't want people to hesitate to call us if they have a real missing child, by letting people think that they're going to get charged for calling for services," he said.

Alderden is set to hold a news conference Friday at noon. 9NEWS.com will live stream the event. A link will be provided on the homepage. On Thursday evening, Richard Heene spoke with 9NEWS about the suspicion surrounding the case. "Today was grueling, OK. The media had asked the sheriff's department these questions about this publicity stunt crap and everything that I went through, everything my wife has gone through, I just find that just disgusting," he said. "It's absolutely appalling to me after all the crap that we went through that they would say that."Perhaps he was talking about these guys out here, I don't know. They were asking him a million questions," he continued. "I thought he was talking about when the garage door opened up, all the media was standing there and he was showing them how he got in, I thought that's what he was talking about." During the search, Falcon had apparently hid inside a box in the attic of the home. At times he played with toys and at other times he took a nap. He came down after about five hours.

His older brother said he saw Falcon get inside the battery box of the experimental aircraft before he took off. He showed video of it to his parents and that's when they panicked, believing him to be flying away, high above.

"I was in the attic and he scared me because he yelled at me. That's why I went in the attic because I heard shouting. But I didn't want to come out because he was really mad at me and I'll probably get in trouble," Falcon said.

Richard Heene says he yelled at his son because he kept climbing into the experimental aircraft earlier in the day and there was a danger he could get electrocuted while he was in there.

The homemade aircraft lifted off around 11 a.m. and made a soft landing around 1:30 p.m. northeast of Denver International Airport and five miles east of Prospect Reservoir.

Rescue crews were on scene when it landed and they quickly searched the aircraft, poking holes in it to force it to deflate, only to find no sign of Falcon.

When he was not found, there were fears the battery box had separated from the main apparatus during its flight with Falcon still inside.

Crews started searching a park southeast of the boy's home and an area around County Road 41 and County Road 28 after a Weld County Sheriff's deputy thought he saw something fall from the bottom of the aircraft.

Later, the sheriff's office says the box was still part of the balloon when it landed.

When the balloon landed and there was no sign of Falcon, Richard Heene says he was very distraught.

"That tore me apart. They only thing I could think of was that he had fallen out," he said.

He says they were sitting on the sofa in their home on Fossil Ridge Road in Fort Collins when Falcon came out and his wife screamed when she saw him. During the news conference, Falcon wandered away again and his mother, Mayumi Heene, went over and got him.

"You've got to stay with us," she said.

The entire Heene family seemed very thankful that Falcon was OK.

"It was a miracle to see him," his mother said.

"This is a relief. We're going to watch them a lot closer," Richard Heene said. />

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