CO boy, feared to be in balloon, found in attic

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

FORT COLLINS, CO (AP) - A 6-year-old Colorado boy, feared to have floated off in a helium balloon, has been found safe at his home hiding in a cardboard box in the garage attic.
Update, THU 9:30 PM: Sheriff Jim Alderman turned to reporters during a news conference and held thumbs up and said, "He's at the house." Alderden said an investigator on the scene saw the boy and he was fine.
He said the boy apparently has been in the attic the whole time.
The boy's brother had said he saw 6-year-old Falcon Heene get in the balloon before it took off. The flight last two hours and spanned 50 miles and set off a frantic search.
Update, THU 3:50 PM: The National Guard is brought in to bring down a runaway, homemade hot air balloon.

A homemade balloon aircraft has landed in a Colorado field, but there's no sign of the 6-year-old boy whose brother reported he had climbed aboard. The child's fate isn't clear, and authorities aren't sure he was ever on the balloon. The balloon had traveled for more than two hours before coming down.

Previously: Colorado National Guard preparing to launch helicopter to rescue 6-year-old boy in balloon. The boy climbed into a hot-air balloon aircraft and floated away Thursday, forcing officials to scramble to figure out how to rescue the boy.

Larimer County sheriff's spokeswoman Eloise Campanella says the device, which is shaped like a flying saucer, has the potential to rise to 10,000 feet. Sheriff's officials last saw the device floating south of Milliken, which is about 40 miles north of Denver.

Campanella says the 6-year-old climbed into the access door and was in the airborne device. FAA spokesman Mike Fergus says the agency has been notified and it was unclear whether traffic controllers had picked it up on radar.

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