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Investigators: Balloon boy parents acted alone

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December 21, 2009 10:21 PM EST | AP

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado couple Richard and Mayumi Heene acted alone when they fabricated a story about their son floating off in a runaway balloon to gain publicity, sheriff's officials said Monday.

Days after a 50-mile balloon chase captivated a global audience in October, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said investigators were examining the possibility of conspirators, which may have included media outlets.

On Monday, two days before the two aspiring reality TV stars were to be sentenced on charges stemming from the stunt, sheriff's spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said the possibility of coconspirators was not substantiated.

Police examined three computer laptops, several hard drives, video cameras and tapes seized from the Heene home in Fort Collins in their investigation.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, a judge is set to determine whether the Heenes owe restitution, and if so, how much. Campanella says sheriff's officials are tabulating their costs, and so far the total is about $43,000.