Sheriff Jim Alderden said Sunday that, "documents show that a media outlet has agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regard to the balloon incident," according to the Associated Press.
Alderden didn’t name the media outlet but said it was a show that blurs "the line between entertainment and news," the AP reports.
Alderden is the sheriff for Larimer County, Colorado, which includes the city of Fort Collins. The Heenes, who reside in Fort Collins are the family that claimed six-year-old Falcon Heene had inadvertantly fallen into a container that was attached to a helium balloon that became untethered and sent up into the sky on Thursday, Oct 15.
The drama was followed by millions worldwide on TV and on the Internet.
According to the AP, "It wasn’t clear whether the deal was signed before or after the alleged hoax, or whether the media outlet was a possible conspirator."
Said Sheriff Alderden,"Let’s call it (my statement) short of speculation that a media outlet was in on the hoax, but let’s not discount the possibility."
Furthermore, the story says that investigators want to talk to Robert Thomas, 25, of Denver.
Thomas had told gawker.com, in a story that gawker paid for, that he worked with Falcon’s father, Richard Heene, on a proposal for an ABC reality series that included an idea about a homemade flying saucer.
Previously the Heene’s had been on the reality show "Wife Swap."