APPALACHIA, Va. — The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in its investigation of whether a series of phone calls made early Sunday were connected to the discovery hours later of a body with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., Wise County Central Dispatch received a call from a man who said he was going to murder his girlfriend at Inman Village Apartments in Appalachia, according to a news release. The man also made threats to harm law enforcement and said law enforcement had 30 minutes to respond before the murder, police said.

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office could not trace the calls because they were made by an internet-based phone system, said Col. Grant Kilgore.

Sheriff’s Office investigators, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals, obtained a callback number to the man who made the original call, and negotiators made several attempts to call him, police said. The man sporadically answered but gave little information, the release states.

During a search of Inman Village, officers reported hearing one round fired from a gun, police said, but officers could not determine where the gunshot came from. 

At around 10 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a body at Inman Village. Kilgore said the man is believed to have killed himself.

It’s not known whether the calls and the shooting were related, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 276-328-3756.

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