Sheriff Jim Alderden and undersheriff Ern Hudson held a press conference today in which they gave details about their investigation into the Heene family and the Balloon Boy incident. Alderden revealed that they became suspicious, as did most of America, when Falcon Heene said “we did it for show” during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Larry King Live.
He explained that the police department’s apparent casualness was an effort to gain the trust of the Heene family and create a more relaxed environment in hopes that it would increase the chances of a confession. Also a concern was the fact that the stressful environment around the Heene family wouldn’t allow for an accurate polygraph test if either or both of the parents agreed to take one.
Alderden went on to describe the particulars of the investigation to this point, saying that his department’s attempts to gain the trust of the Heene family lead to Richard Heene voluntarily coming to the station for an interview, at which time officers went to their home to interview Mayumi Heene and the children. Mrs. Heene agreed to the interview as well and even left the children in the care of someone else to also go to the police station and answer questions.
It was suggested that a polygraph test had been administered, but Alderden mentioned a Colorado law that prevents him from disclosing any information about whether or not a lie detector test has been administered or what the results of the test were if it had.
Alderden says that they believe there are other people and possibly media organizations that knew information about the incident ahead of time, and mentioned that at least one media outlet had given the family money. He also said that the incident was a “planned event for two weeks.”
The Heenes are currently facing multiple charges, the worst of which is attempting to influence a public official, which is a class 4 felony and carries a potential sentence of 2-5 years in prison if convicted, although Alderden stated that first-time felony offenders rarely serve jail time. Other charges include contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy to commit false reporting.
Here’s the full press conference live:
Thanks to kdvr.com for the live feed.
A couple other interesting things from the press conference:
Alderden revealed that there was a previous 911 incident this year involving domestic abuse, commenting that Richard Heene has quite a temper.
In reference tot he amount of money spent on the Balloon Boy rescue, Alderden said, “We probably spent more money dealing with the media.”
Child protective services is involved in the case.
Here is a clip: