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Homicide hoax ties up law enforcement in Park Rapids neighborhood Thursday night

What may have been a hoax call tied up three law enforcement agencies unnecessarily Thursday night in Park Rapids and startled a residential neighborhood that has seen its share of pain lately.

Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers said sometime after 6:30 p.m. someone called the dispatch center to report a possible homicide and "bodies all over the floor" at a residence across the street from where a man died over the Fourth of July weekend following an altercation.

Eilers, two city police officers a State Patrol trooper and a Hubbard County deputy all converged on the Woodland Avenue home and rousted the startled residents of a duplex across the street from where Richard Allen Hoskins, 41, died after a fight July 3.

Most of the residents were having dinner. No bodies were found.

Then, because the GPS locator identified a second residence as the possible scene, officers moved around the block to converge on a second location.

"We sure don't need this," said a neighborhood resident. Several neighbors nodded in agreement.

The second house was cleared and Eilers spent another hour driving up and down the block explaining what occurred and apologizing to residents out on their lawns or walking down the street to see what the commotion was all about.

"I probably owe that one guy dinner," Eilerrs said of the duplex resident who had been torn away from his evening meal.

"I guess I'd rather have it that way than the other."

Investigation continues as to the identity of the caller, believed to be a young girl.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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