OCALA, Fla. -

Ocala police are searching across the country for a man they believe to be a serial rapist who has attacked as many as four women since July.

The latest attack occurred Wednesday when a woman was forced into a vehicle and raped.

The 42-year-old said she was forced into a blue or green minivan and taken a wooded area near the 1100 block of Northwest 38th Avenue.

She said the man physically assaulted her before taking her into the back of the van, where he choked her and then sexually assaulted her.

"You wouldn't want to be in that situation, and I hope they catch him. It hurts to see somebody like that," said Sherry Rodriquez, who said the woman ran from the woods toward her car, naked and covered in blood. "She was tied up all night. She was just exhausted."

Rodriguez said the woman was covered in her attacker's blood. She said the woman asked to call her daughter while she sat in her back seat as she took the woman to a nearby convenience store for help.

Rodriguez said the woman described being held captive in the van all night until 6 p.m. the following evening when she made a daring escape.

"She said she pretended she was sleeping and she found a box cutter. When she found the box cutter, she started stabbing him," Rodriguez said. "They need to catch him (and) hang him."

In the first two cases, authorities say the man offered the women a ride. Once inside his vehicle, he drove the women to a secluded location and raped them.

Ocala police detectives told Local 6 News that they believe the attacks are related. The victims all describe a similar attacker and there are similarities in the way the attacks were carried out.

Ocala police are also comparing notes with Gainesville police in connection to a rape with similar circumstances that occurred in July. Ocala police think it's possible the man does not live in the Ocala area. They have now entered his information into a national violent crimes database to see if other cimilar crimes have been committed elsewhere.

Detectives say the man has short, reddish hair and is in his 30s or 40s. He has tattoos on his neck and arms. He drives an older model minivan, likely a Dodge Caravan. Victims have reported either a car seat or baby items in the vehicle.

Each of the four victims described the man similarly, but all the cars were different and the women were picked up in different places.