Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ)– The search continues for the man who abducted Vi Ripken at gunpoint. The FBI is now helping with the investigation.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the efforts to find the suspect.
Police are hoping that showing the suspect’s picture repeatedly will lead to an arrest.
Aberdeen police, the FBI and Maryland State Police say he’s armed and dangerous and suspected of kidnapping Vi Ripken, mother of Cal Ripken Jr.
“The last picture we have of him that you see in the photograph, he was wearing a white shirt, a long, white shirt, blue jeans, had a hat on,” Lt. Fred Budnick of the Aberdeen Police Department said.
Investigators said that on Tuesday, Vi Ripken was held at gunpoint and kidnapped from the garage behind her home of 46 years.
Seventy-four-year-old Vi Ripken was tied up and forced into the back seat of a car. The suspect never asked for a ransom and never mentioned her famous last name. Instead, he drove her around for a terrifying 24 hours.
“I couldn’t believe it,” one neighbor said.
“I can’t imagine what his purpose was,” said another.
“We have no proof or reason to believe it was not an abduction,” Lt. Budnick said.
Talk of the kidnapping is circling the city, and so are the flyers with the suspect’s picture.
The image released on Thursday shows the suspected kidnapper in a white dress shirt and an orange baseball cap. He’s a white man in his mid-30s to mid-40s, stemming 5’10″ and a 180 lbs. with short, brown hair and glasses.
Police say the suspect drove a bound Vi Ripken around Central Maryland for hours before, oddly but thankfully, returning to her home safely.
Friday, Aberdeen police officers sit outside the home of Vi Ripken’s daughter. Neighbors say the police activity is strange but understood.
The Ripken family has not commented publicly about the investigation or the kidnapping. However, they did release a statement in which they were thankful for her safe return.
A $2,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.