Deputies respond to report of suspicious person

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An early morning knock at the door in rural Perry County on Sunday led to a search effort by sheriff's deputies and a warning to use caution when dealing with strangers.

According to a news release from the Perry County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 3:18 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call from a resident regarding a suspicious person outside her home.

The caller stated that a man knocked on her door and asked to be let inside to use the phone. According to reports, the man told her someone had been shot in the neck and was walking down the county road in front of her house.

The caller told the man to wait outside and that she would call law enforcement for him. She then left to retrieve her phone — and a handgun for protection.

When she returned, the report stated, "the person was speedily leaving the residence."

The resident then reported the incident to the Perry County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were dispatched to search the area and found no evidence of anyone walking that road or any of the connecting roads.

"We have no evidence that anyone was in that area, injured, at that time," said Perry County Sheriff Gary J. Schaaf. "So if there was no injured person, we have to suspect the person was just trying to talk his way into the house for nefarious purposes. The resident did the right thing in refusing entry and calling law enforcement immediately."

The resident described the person as a white male in his 30s with a scruffy beard, wearing dark colored pants and jacket. The vehicle he was in is described as a dark-colored older model sedan.

The deputies saw no vehicle matching that description in the area as they searched for the injured subject.

In the wake of the incident, Schaaf sent out a public safety reminder for residents saying, "Do not to let strangers asking for help into your home. Offer to dial 911 and report the problem for them instead."