the ponyboy chronicles

Investigators: Howell events may be "elaborate hoax"
May 30, 2002 Posted: 3:40 PM EDT (1840 GMT)

MUMBAI, INDIA (LBOZ) -- Investigators for India's Central Bureau of Investigation, along with FBI agents and U.S. military personnel, are looking into recent events involving actor C. Thomas Howell and his former wife, Rae Dawn Chong, for evidence that they may comprise an "elaborate hoax."

Three men spotted at various locations near several of the events are being questioned by officials in Mumbai (Bombay) for their potential involvement.

"We are considering this an open investigation," said a law enforcement spokesperson. "We have no official opinion right now as to whether this is a hoax or not."

The identities of the three men, reportedly American, have not been revealed.

Howell and Chong, box office stars in the 1980's, have more recently been at the center of an increasingly unlikely string of events that at various points has left them for dead. Recently Indian President Shri Kocheril Raman Naranyan announced his intention to reunite the former spouses in a ceremony at the Taj Mahal.

"If there are illegalities in this, we will prosecute to the fullest," said an FBI spokesperson. "For now we are just getting the facts in order."

President Naranyan, through a spokesperson, said "I believe these star-crossed miracle children will be exonerated of all possible wrongdoing."

Representatives for Howell and Chong were not available for comment.

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