Man Hides in Van, Rapes Woman

- Bartow County Sheriff's investigators are desperately trying to track down a man who kidnapped and raped a woman on the side of Highway 113 in Taylorsville.

A 34-year-old woman ran into the Dollar General Thursday around 8 p.m., leaving the doors to her van unlocked. While she was in the store, authorities said a man snuck into her van and hid in her backseat.

The woman told detectives, she was driving home when the man started strangling her with her seatbelt. Authorities said he forced her to pull off the highway and raped her. The attacker then escaped into the darkness.

Investigators have been searching for the man, but have few leads.

“We've scoured the area; we've talked to neighbors, people who live and work in the area. We've also pulled surveillance videos that are available to attempt to get any information on who this guy is, and so far we have nothing,” said Sgt. Jonathan Rogers with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office.

The woman told authorities she did not get a good look at the man's face, but she could tell he was a large, white man with very tan skin and a scruffy beard. She also reported he was wearing work boots and smelled of cigarettes.

Sgt. Rogers said if the man lives in the area, he fears if he's done it once, he'll do it again. He wants anyone who was near the Dollar General in Taylorsville that Thursday night, who may have seen a man in the parking lot or walking along Highway 113, to give the sheriff's office a call.

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