The mother of Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was found safe Wednesday morning after being abducted at gunpoint the day before, according to police in Aberdeen, Md.
Police said Violet Ripken, 74, was abducted, bound and blindfolded from her garage by a man with a handgun between 7 and 8 a.m. yesterday. The man drove her around in her silver 1998 Lincoln Town Car, News4's Pat Collins reported.
About 8:30 p.m., someone saw a Town Car with a woman tied up in the back in the Ebenezer Road area of Baltimore County. The driver told the witness the woman was his mother and was being taken to the hospital, but the witness took down the license plate and reported it to police, who determined it was Ripken's car.
Aberdeen police began a missing person search that continued through the night. Ripken was found about 6:15 a.m. today with her hands bound in the backseat of her car just a couple of blocks from her home.
“The investigators are still talking to her and witnesses to determine exactly what happened and where it happened,” Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said.
Ripken was checked out by paramedics but appeared to be physically fine.
Police are looking for a white male, mid-30s to early 40s, wearing a light-colored shirt, camouflage pants and glasses. He is considered armed and dangerous.
The FBI and Maryland State Police were also involved in the investigation, according to the Associated Press.
FBI spokesman Rich Wolf told the AP that authorities don't know whether the abductor knew the Ripken family. His motive is unknown, and no ransom was demanded. Trabert did not answer when asked whether the abductor knew who he was taking.
“The motive is unknown at this time. Like I said, the investigators are still out there, this case is still brand new and we are really beginning the investigation,” Trabert said.
“We don't know what if any relationship there was between the perpetrator of this crime and the Ripken family,” Trabert said.
"Maybe they can come up with a motivation based on the actions of the guy," Wolf told the AP.
The Ripken family released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“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 on ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.”