Sheriff Says Criminal Charges Likely Over Balloon Incident

The plan went amiss, Heene said, when a key control factor in the "experiment" -- equipment limiting the balloon's rise to just 20 feet -- failed.

The balloon came loose and the father, a two-time participant of the ABC reality show "Wife Swap," let loose, cursing and kicking the launching framework.

It's another strange glimpse into this family -- a family that never seems to be without a video camera.

Ever since his family's appearances on "Wife Swap," Heene has reportedly been trying to sell producers another reality show, based on his eccentric family life. He even developed a show in which he was the star. The title? "Richard Heene: Science Detective."

Child's Statement Fuels Doubt: 'We Did This for a Show'

But more than the actions of the father, it's the words of the son that have fueled speculation. Toward the end of a lengthy interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" Thursday night, Falcon was asked why he hid in the attic for hours while so many thought he was in danger. "You guys said that we did this for a show," he replied, with his parents nearby.

Guest host Wolf Blitzer asked Richard Heene to ask his son, who could not hear Blitzer, what he meant by the comment. Heene briefly suggested Falcon might have been talking about the family's two appearances on the ABC reality show "Wife Swap."

"Certainly, that statement that was made last night on the interview raises the questions again," the sheriff investigating the incident said. "We do intend to go back and try and re-interview the family."

Alderden said Child Protective Services would "probably open an investigation," but he asked that they wait until law enforcement officials had an opportunity to question the family today.

The sheriff said he believed the boy hid in the rafters and fell asleep there because he thought he was responsible for untethering the balloon. He said he further believed that the parents were legitimately worried about their son's well-being and that it did not appear to be a hoax or publicity stunt.

"We were convinced yesterday having talked to the parents and investigators that the parents were being honest," Alderden said.

He added that the Heene family "appropriately expressed statements, nonverbal communication, body language and emotions that were entirely consistent with events that were taking place. They believed the boy was in there.

"Our people didn't think [that emotional response] could be faked or was faked," he said.

The sheriff said he doubted the 6-year-old, who allegedly slept during the hunt for him, could have been coached to remain quiet and still during the five-hour search, given his "hyperactive" disposition.

"The suggestion to us that he had been coached to hide and remain still for five hours is inconceivable. It is much more likely he was frightened because he thought he was responsible for the device becoming untethered," Alderden said.

Police Searched the Heene Home Three Times

The sheriff said police were waiting to interview the boy because he was sick, twice vomiting during morning TV show interviews Friday.

"We had hoped to do it today, but after watching the boy being sick and the family suffering from fatigue, we thought it in their best interest to not interview them [Friday] but perhaps tomorrow after they've settled down and had some rest," he said.

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