Lane, the family attorney, said the sheriff's reversal "tells me there may be some ambiguity in their evidence but, again, the evidence is going to speak for itself. Whatever they've got, they've got and they have to give it to me."
The producers of "Wife Swap" said they had "at one point" been in talks with the family to develop a new reality show about them
"At one point in time, we had a show in development with the Heene's. We are no longer in active development with the family. Like everyone else in America, we were stunned and held our breath while the events of [Thursday] unfolded, and like everyone else, we are extremely thankful for the fact that Falcon is safe with his family," Brooke Fisher, spokeswoman from prduction company RDF USA, said in a statement.
Alderden announced four potential charges against Richard Heene and possibly his wife. The charges include conspiracy, a felony; contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a felony; attempting to influence a public servant, a felony; and false reporting to authorities, a misdemeanor.
In addition, he said local authorities would consult with the FAA to determine whether federal charges could be added to the list.
"This has been a planned event for at least two weeks," Alderden said, referring to the false emergency created when the Heenes called police Thursday to say their son Falcon was missing and they feared he was in the runaway balloon. "The plan was to launch a spacecraft to garner media publicity."
"We were manipulated by the family, and the media has been manipulated by the family," Alderden said.
The helium balloon that Heene said was carrying his son traveled out of control for about 50 miles, reaching altitudes of 7,000 feet.
Alderden said the police had few interactions with the Heenes but that a previous 911 call from the Heene home raised suspicions of potential domestic violence.
In that case, "insufficient evidence" was found "to proceed with a criminal prosecution," Alderden said.
Lane, the family attorney, said he has met with Falcon and his two older brothers and that they do not seem to be abused.
"These are, by all appearance, well-loved, well-taken care of, well-adjusted ... little boys," he said.
Child Protective Services is also now reportedly involved with the family.
"I think unless they have good solid evidence of some sort of child abuse, these children need to stay with parents who love them," Lane said.
The sheriff said the perception that Heene is a scientist was unfounded.
"We now know that his education level is only high school," the sheriff said. "He's not the nutty professor. He may be nutty, but he's not a professor."
Alderden said the police had no reason to disbelieve the family -- at first.
"At that time, everything that we experienced with family to that point was very consistent and believable," he said. "Though media and viewers were skeptical, we remained skeptical, we have to operate on facts. Information was plausible. ... [The family] granted us free access to search the house, complete access to the children, to interview him, after Falcon was found, talk to him -- suggestive to us that it was the real deal."
But then new facts began to emerge.