Dad In Balloon And Boy Saga Doesn't Give Announcement, Collects Questions

A "big announcement" from the father of a boy feared missing in a helium balloon failed to materialize.

Richard Heene told reporters early Saturday he would hold a news conference with an announcement later in the morning. But when he emerged from the house and came to microphones, he said only that he was putting a cardboard box outside the door to take written questions. He said he'd answer the questions Saturday evening.

The boy was found hiding in the garage attic after his parents reported he was in the loose balloon.

Sheriff's investigators planned to talk to Richard and Mayumi Heene again Saturday to resolve lingering questions over whether the drama could have been a hoax. Richard Heene has called that suggestion "pathetic."

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The NBC Today Show is reporting the father in the balloon and boy saga came out of his Colorado home in the middle of the night and told reporters he has a "big announcement" to make today.

There was no explanation of what that announcement might be. Richard Heene's wife Mayumi videotaped Richard's conversations with reporters. The Today Show reports Heene had previously said he was not giving additional interviews.

A Colorado sheriff plans to question Richard and Mayumi Heene again today about what happened Thursday, when they reported their son had floated away from their house in a runaway helium balloon.

Six-year-old Falcon Heene was later found safe in the family's garage. He'd been hiding for hours as a massive search was under way.

Questions were raised about the incident after the boy mentioned doing this "for a show" in a live CNN interview. During interviews on the morning talk shows yesterday, little Falcon threw up during two separate interviews when the family was being questioned about why he hid.

Richard Heene calls accusations that the balloon incident was a publicity stunt "extremely pathetic."

The Larimer County Sheriff says the boy's comments have clearly "raised everybody's level of skepticism." But he says the family seemed genuine during the panic, and investigators had no reason to believe the whole thing was a hoax.

(Copyright 2009 by WITN and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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