www.baltimoresun.com/explore/harford/news/crime/ph-ag-ripken-suspect-0801-20120731,0,1059867.story

baltimoresun.com

Police hope video, composite will help ID Ripken's kidnapper

BY ERIKA BUTLER, ebutler@theaegis.com

5:41 PM EDT, July 31, 2012

Advertisement

Police have received more than 50 tips about the identity of the man who kidnapped Vi Ripken last week and are hoping to generate more with the release of a video of the suspect as well as a composite sketch.

"It's come from information from several witnesses," Lt. Fred Budnick, Aberdeen Police Department spokesman, said outside the department's headquarters Tuesday afternoon. "This gives a full body shot, shows his gait."

It's been more than a week since Vi Ripken, the mother of Major Leaguer Cal Ripken Jr., was kidnapped from her Aberdeen home and driven around Maryland for several hours before she was returned to her neighborhood.

Police are hoping to get the video distributed primarily in the Anne Arundel County area, where the kidnapper was seen outside a retail store.

They have no motive in the kidnapping, which did not involve a demand for ransom or anything else from the Ripken family.

"I don't know what motivates an individual like that to do what they did," Budnick said.

The only things police have been able to rule out in their investigation are there wasn't a medical issue and they don't believe it's a made-up story.

Budnick said he couldn't speak to the nature of the tips the department has received, but said investigators are tracking them down.

"We look at each tip and prioritize them," he said. "We run them all down."

It's not unusual that the person in the picture hasn't been identified yet, but they're hoping the new information will generate more tips.

The composite picture released last week is good quality as far as video surveillance goes, but it could be clearer.

"We're hoping that the composite might, paired with the video, people might put everything together," Budnick said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the 24/7-tipline at 410-836-5432.

Ripken's kidnapping is an active, ongoing investigation, and the kidnapper is still on the loose, considered by police to be armed and dangerous. While Aberdeen and Harford residents don't necessarily have to be worried, they need to be aware, Budnick said.

"Be vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, report something unusual," he said.

Ripken's next door neighbor said Tuesday afternoon she and others were urged to be cautious.

She said she had not heard from, nor had she seen Ripken since she was abducted and returned to her home last week. A Harford County Sheriff's Office deputy car and an Aberdeen police car were patrolling the area.

L'Oreal Thompson, a Harford magazine editor and former Aegis reporter, contributed to this story.