Sheriff Alderden now says either one or both Richard and Mayumi Heene may face misdemeanor charges

By Vickie Bane
Updated October 17, 2009 11:20 PM

Was it a hoax after all?

After a second interview late Saturday with Richard and Mayumi Heene – the parents of the now-infamous balloon boy – Larimer County, Colo., Sheriff Jim Alderden says that misdemeanor charges will now “likely be filed” against one or both the parents.

Alderden would not elaborate on what changed his mind from Friday, when he told reporters during a nationally televised press conference that he was "convinced" the family was telling the truth.

However, Alderden added that he would be checking with federal officials to see if they would be filing charges as well.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was the first agency that the Heene’s called Thursday to report their 6-year-old son Falcon was in a flying saucer-shaped balloon that escaped from the family’s backyard.

Richard Heene, who has steadfastly maintained the balloon incident was not a publicity stunt, posted a sign on the door of his Fort Collins home late Friday saying he would not be giving further interviews, only to step outside on Saturday to tell reporters that a “big announcement” was coming.

The announcement turned out to be a rambling explanation about why he would from now on be taking questions from reporters submitted in written form to a box to be answered at a later time.

More is expected from the Sheriff on Sunday.