Vi Ripken Safe After Being Abducted, Motive Unknown
Aberdeen resident and Ripken family matriarch Vi Ripken was taken from her home Tuesday and found in the back seat of her car with her hands tied Wednesday morning.
UPDATED (4:05 p.m.)—Aberdeen resident Violet Roberta Ripken is safe at home after she was abducted from her home Tuesday morning, Aberdeen police said.
Ripken, 74, was found with her hands bound in the back seat of her 1998 Lincoln Town Car Wednesday morning near her home, Aberdeen police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick said in an email.
Asked if the abduction was targeted at the matriarch of the Ripken family, Aberdeen police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick told Patch there was no indication of such Wednesday, and that a motive is still under investigation.
The suspect used Ripken's car to drive around the central Maryland region with Ripken on board, Trabert said.
Budnick, citing an ongoing investigation, declined to confirm that the suspect used Ripken's ATM or credit cards during the abduction.
In a statement released earlier Wednesday, Aberdeen police said a man armed with a handgun—described as in his late 30s or early 40s wearing a light colored shirt, camouflage pants and glasses—forced Ripken into her vehicle between 7 and 8 a.m. Tuesday. The vehicle fled the area, police said.
Aberdeen police received a call from Baltimore County police around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding a suspicious vehicle in the Ebenezer Road area of Essex.
Ripken was located at 6:15 Wednesday morning unharmed in her vehicle near her home on Clover Street, police said.
Police said she was not injured and is resting with family members.
Violet Ripken is the widow of Cal Ripken Sr. and the mother of Ellen, Cal, Fred and Bill Ripken.
Her children released the following statement Wednesday: "As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is [an] ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.”
Anyone with information may contact Aberdeen police at 410-272-2121.
The FBI, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State police and Baltimore County police are assisting Aberdeen police in the investigation.
In a news release sent at 5:38 a.m. Wednesday, Baltimore County police initially reported Ripken as missing.
An hour later, police said Ripken had been found in Harford County and was speaking with police.
She's also a regular at Aberdeen IronBirds games at Ripken Stadium. The club is owned by Ripken Baseball, founded by her sons Cal and Bill upon Cal's retirement. Her daughter, Elly, is an accountant for Ripken Baseball.
Her late husband, Cal Ripken Sr., was known affectionately as "Senior" to friends and family. He was a longtime coach and minor league manager in the Orioles system. He managed the Orioles in 1987, becoming the first manager with two sons on his roster. Cal Ripken Sr. died on March 25, 1999, and the family started the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in his memory.
Cal Ripken Jr. is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after an extraordinary career with the Orioles. He earned the nickname "IronMan" after he played in a record 2,632 consecutive games. Ripken also won two American League MVP awards during his career with the Orioles. He is chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball.
Bill Ripken played 12 years in the major leagues, including playing second base for the Orioles alongside his brother. He is a regular television analyst on the MLB Network's MLB Tonight broadcast, and an executive vice president with Ripken Baseball.
Vi Ripken's grandson, Cal's son, Ryan, was drafted by the Orioles in June, but opted to attend the University of South Carolina on a baseball scholarship.
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