From the Los Angeles Times:
Reporting from Fort Collins, Colo., and Los Angeles — The strange case of Falcon Heene took another twist Sunday when a Colorado sheriff said the boy’s parents had staged the runaway balloon saga as a publicity stunt to score a reality television show.
“There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that this was a hoax,” Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said at a news conference in Fort Collins. Richard and Mayumi Heene planned the caper for at least two weeks, he said, and are likely to face felony charges.
The sheriff added that some entertainment media might have been complicit, but he refused to identify them. One outlet, he said, had already paid the Heenes in connection with the balloon launch.