A gunman entered a home in rural Mount Airy yesterday morning, reportedly abducting a 22-year-old woman and then raping her, police said.
The abductor apparently held the woman for about four hours before freeing her in Montgomery County, police said.
The woman, whose name was not released by police, was forced into a car by a man wielding a rifle or shotgun outside her home about 11 a.m., police said. The home is near the Howard and Carroll county line.
"The female was blindfolded and her hands had been bound," said Howard County Sgt. Gary Gardner.
A passer-by witnessed the abduction and called police from a pay phone near the house, police said.
The man is believed to have entered the woman's house through a rear door, Sergeant Gardner said. There were no signs of a break-in.
The woman, who shares the house with her boyfriend and 4-year-old daughter, was asleep on a living room sofa when the abductor entered the home, Sergeant Gardner said.
Her daughter was home at the time of the incident and was left behind unharmed, the spokesman said.
The passer-by saw the woman being forced into what police described as a small white car. The car was last seen traveling east on Route 144.
The witness described the suspect as a white man in his 30s with a mustache and short dark brown hair, police said. He was wearing a long, dark-colored coat, blue jeans and sunglasses.
Howard police have provided descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle to police departments in neighboring counties, Sergeant Gardner said.
The abductor reportedly released the woman in Laytonsville, a Montgomery County town about 11 miles south of Mount Airy, police said.
The woman called 911 and reported that she had been raped.
Police last night had not determined where the alleged rape occurred.