Violet Ripken, mother of Hall of Fame Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., was found safe by police July 25 following her abduction a day earlier from her Aberdeen, Md. home.
Aberdeen police said Ripken, 74, was taken from her home at gunpoint between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. July 24 by an unknown man. Police said a motive for the abduction has not been determined.
“Police are looking for a white male late 30’s to early 40’s last seen wearing a light colored shirt, camo pants and eye glasses,” Chief Henry Trabert said in a statement.
The suspect should be considered dangerous, as police said he could still be armed.
According to CNN, the kidnapper tied Ripken up and blindfolded her, forcing her into her own silver 1998 Lincoln Continental.
Trabert said the suspect drove Ripken through Central Maryland in her own vehicle, making multiple charges to her credit cards. Police declined to specify every location to which Ripken was taken, and when she was there.
A tip phoned into the Baltimore County Police Department at 8:30 p.m. July 24 about a suspicious car on Ebenezer Road led police to discover she had been abducted.
According to Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL, license plate numbers reported by the caller matched the information and address of Ripken, affectionately known as “Vi.”
Following a night-long search and the release of a missing person alert at approximately 5:30 a.m. on July 25, Ripken found just blocks away from her home.
“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,” the Ripken family said in a statement according to Baltimore ABC affiliate WMAR. “We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly.”
The Ripken family has long been Baltimore royalty and a staple in the baseball world, beginning with Ripken’s husband, Cal Ripken Sr., who coached, managed and recruited for the Baltimore Orioles for 36 years. Including Ripken Sr., a total of three Ripken men have worn the Oriole uniform.
Ripken Jr. played 21 seasons for the Orioles, setting the major league record for consecutive games played. His brother, Billy Ripken, had a 12-season major league baseball beginning in 1987. That year marked the first ever in MLB history that a father had two sons under his management at one time.