A couple who appeared on ABC’s reality show Wife Swap and later concocted a fantastic hoax that drew worldwide attention has been pardoned by the Colorado governor.
In October 2009, Richard and Mayumi Heene claimed that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, was trapped in a mylar balloon that soared into the sky.
The sensational story saw police and National Guard helicopters called out to follow the homemade helium device for more than two hours and 50 miles people around the world watched live. Watch Katie Couric’s CBS News report from that day below.
As it turned out, the son was hiding in the family’s attic. The child’s mother later confessed that the family planned the entire story in order to make them more marketable for a reality TV show.
Eventually, the family copped to the truth and admitted that their actions were “for the show.”
In a statement issued today. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said it was time to move on — 11 years after the incident. “In the case of Richard and Mayumi Heene, the ‘balloon boy’ parents, we are all ready to move past the spectacle from a decade ago that wasted the precious time and resources of law enforcement officials and the general public.
“Richard and Mayumi have paid the price in the eyes of the public, served their sentences, and it’s time for all of us to move on,” he added. “It’s time to no longer let a permanent criminal record from the balloon boy saga follow and drag down the parents for the rest of their lives.”