A pregnant Hallam woman lied when she told police she was attacked by a knife-wielding stranger outside her home in November, according to court documents.

Rheatha Strickland, 20, of 90 E. Forry Ave., remains free on her own recognizance, charged with the third-degree misdemeanor of making a false report.

When officers arrived at her home about 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5, they found Strickland had a 2-inch cut on her left arm and a scratch on her face, police said.

She told police she was letting her dogs out when she was confronted at her door by a man in a hooded sweatshirt, police said at the time.

Manhunt: Strickland's report spurred a manhunt led by Hellam Township Police, who later released a composite sketch of the "attacker," based on her description.

An attacker was never found, and witnesses in the area told investigators they hadn't seen anything unusual, according to charging documents.

During the investigation, Strickland's story changed, and she gave township Detective Justin Golder several statements that were inconsistent with each other, police said.

'Personal issues': Three weeks after the alleged attack, Strickland called Golder and "advised that she was struggling with personal issues and cut herself," charging documents state. "Strickland advised she didn't want to embarrass her family, so she attempted to cover up the incident."

The false-reports charge was forwarded to York County Court for trial after Strickland's Jan. 27 preliminary hearing, court records state.


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Her formal court arraignment is scheduled for March 7.

No one answered the door at Strickland's home on Tuesday afternoon, and court records don't list an attorney for her.

Hellam Township Police Chief Mark Sowers confirmed his department invested "a considerable amount" of manpower and resources in an effort to solve the case, including the help of the York County Forensic Team.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.