Howard County police said officers responded to a report of an injured woman on the 7000 block of Cradlerock Way in the Owen Brown area of Columbia around 6:35 a.m.
According to police, the woman was out on a morning walk when an unidentified man walked up behind her, cut her neck and ran away.
She was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma, and police said she is in stable condition.
The man did not say anything during the assault, and he did not attempt to rob her. Police are still trying to determine a motive for the attack.
The suspect is described as a Black man with a thin build, possibly in his 20s. He was wearing all dark clothing and had a face mask on. He was last seen running toward the Owen Brown Village Center.
Everyone in the area is encouraged to remain mindful of their surroundings and walk in pairs if possible.
Anyone with information relating to the assault is being urged to call police at 410-313-7867 or email HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.