24 Oct 2009

Balloon created with hoax in mind, says mother

3:03 pm on 24 October 2009

The mother of the Colorado 'balloon boy' has told authorities that the giant helium balloon the child was mistakenly thought to be in was specifically created for a hoax to draw media attention.

The admission by Mayumi Heene was made on 17 October, just two days after the balloon was released, CNN reports, citing court documents released on Friday.

Mayumi Heene told Larimer County investigators that she and her husband, Richard Heene, knew their Falcon, 6, was hiding at their Fort Collins home as police and military scrambled to search for the boy, according to the documents.

The Heenes initially told authorities that they believed their child had flown away on the balloon.

The couple hatched the plan about two weeks before the incident and "instructed their three children to lie to authorities as well as the media regarding this hoax," according to the documents.

Richard and Mayumi Heene have previously appeared in reality TV shows.

They each face a number of local charges, including conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and attempting to influence a public servant, CNN reports.