Colorado Gov. Pardons ‘Balloon Boy’ Parents for 2009 Hoax That Captivated the Country

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis commuted the sentences of four people and pardoned another 18 on Wednesday, including the parents of “Balloon Boy.” In 2009, Mayumi and Richard Heene claimed their 6-year-old son Falcon was trapped in a giant gas-powered, UFO-shaped balloon that flew from their Fort Collins home all the way to Denver. When the balloon landed, their son was nowhere to be found. Officials later searched the family’s home and found Falcon hiding in the attic. The parents pleaded guilty to misleading authorities about their child’s whereabouts and were jailed for the apparent hoax. The parents have repeatedly insisted they only pleaded guilty because they feared Mayumi Heene would be deported. “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,” Gov. Polis said in a statement. “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.”

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast – Ana Lucia Murillo