Howard County police are investigating a report that a 24-year-old North Laurel woman was abducted outside her home early Saturday, raped, drugged and driven around the area for about 20 hours.
The rapist, who the woman said she knew as an acquaintance, remains at large, police said. He's described as a red-haired white male, between 35 and 40 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighs 140 pounds, police said.
The police declined to release many details about the rape, saying that doing so might jeopardize the case.
Howard County police took the woman to Howard County General Hospital about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. At the hospital, she received blood tests to determine what kind of drug she was injected with, said Maj. Mark L. Paterni, commander of the department's Bureau of Field Operations. The laboratory tests haven't been completed yet, he said.
The ordeal began about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, while the woman was hanging laundry in the back yard of her home, police said.
The man, whom the woman said she knows only by a first name, approached her.
"This was not an ambush. There was some conversation," Major Paterni said.
However, the man then displayed a knife and forced her into a black van, police said.
The woman said the man then injected her with an unknown drug and took her to the dead end of Whiskey Bottom Road, where she was raped at least once, police said.
At some point at an undisclosed location, the man picked up another man and a woman and drove to Prince George's County, where the woman escaped by running out of the van, police said.
No further details on how she escaped, or where the two passengers were picked up, were released.
After escaping from the van, the woman called Prince George's County police about 8 p.m. Saturday from the Comfort Inn motel on Route 450, police said. Howard County police arrived there about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Police said the woman wasn't able to get the license plates to the van.
In addition, the police are unsure about how many times the woman was raped, or if she tried to escape before her arrival in Prince George's County.
Major Paterni said the police do not know if the victim knew the people who got into the van after the abduction.
Major Paterni said the case is under investigation and the police are attempting to locate the woman's attacker.
"We are searching for him, trying to track down his real identity," he said.