Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been just over a year since Cal Ripken Jr.’s mother was kidnapped from her home. Now the Hall of Famer announces a new major reward in the case.
Monique Griego has more on the famous crime fighter he’s teaming up with.
One year after an armed gunman abducted 75-year-old Vi Ripken and held her captive, her son–legendary baseball player Cal Ripken Jr.–is announcing a new reward of $100,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
“When something like this happens, it forces you to think differently. Take different precautions,” said Cal Ripken Jr.
On July 24, 2012, Vi was taken at gunpoint from her home in Aberdeen. Investigators say the suspect forced her into her car, tied her up, then drove her around for 24 hours before returning her home safely.
Surveillance cameras at Wal-Mart captured images of the suspect. He’s said to be 5’10″, in his mid 30s or 40s, with short brown hair and glasses. Despite the pictures and video, the man’s identity remains a mystery.
“They were moving very aggressively to find him. I think we all were hopeful that it would happen pretty quickly,” Ripken said.
Aberdeen Police and the FBI are actively working the case, but the Ripken family is now also calling in help from a famous crime fighter–former host of America’s Most Wanted–John Walsh.
“Somebody kidnapped a senior citizen. They terrified her for 24 hours. They’re at large. They’re dangerous,” Walsh said.
Walsh is putting the case on the front page of the show’s website. He believes the national attention and increased reward will bring in new leads.
“If somebody knows who this dirt bag is, they’ll drop a dime on him and try to collect that money,” said Walsh.
For Ripken, it’s about saving any future victims and giving his family peace of mind.
“We want closure. We want to be able to move on. To feel a little more comfortable,” he said.
Aberdeen Police say they don’t know if Vi Ripken was targeted or if this was a random crime. Anyone with information is asked to call them or America’s Most Wanted at 1-800-CRIME-TV.
This is the biggest reward in the history of the Aberdeen Police Department.