As recently as last week, she was seen watching her two of her granddaughters playing a softball game at Harford Community College's Thomas Run Park in the company of her son, Fred.

From a security perspective, Garner thinks Aberdeen's police bike patrols and undercover work have been going very well and that city residents have every reason to feel they are safe.

"I think we are in real good shape," he said of the city's crime prevention efforts.

He also thinks some video footage or witnesses must be available. If, for example, the suspect stopped in a convenience store or forced Ripken to use an ATM, something which police won't comment on at this point.


"Like" exploreharford's Facebook page

"Somebody somewhere got this on tape," Garner said. "I feel very, very sure that in just a matter of time, he [the suspect] is done."

City Councilwoman Ruth Ann Young, who said she knows Vi Ripken, called the abduction "something, in my mind, we don't think of in Aberdeen."

"I am appalled that somebody would do something like this," Young said Wednesday afternoon, in noting that many of the details of what happened remain murky from a public standpoint.

"From what I know so far of the situation, I don't know if it is a random act," Young said.

For such an event to happen to anyone, Young continued, "I think it would be very unnerving, and I certainly know that our police department is working very diligently to find the person."

"I would not wish this situation on anybody. It's totally inappropriate," she added.

Young said she had checked on Ripken after hearing what happened and was relieved to find no harm had come to her and that she was not injured.

City Councilwoman Ruth Elliott, a former schoolmate of Ripken's, said she, too, was glad Ripken was not harmed.

"You have all kinds of people in this world. You don't know what your next-door neighbor might be," Elliott said. "It can happen anywhere. I was alarmed that it happened here, but I know what the real world is. It's nothing any locality can do to prevent it beforehand. It's just the way it is."

"I was very alarmed and very much surprised," she said of the incident. "I am just glad that she is OK."

"We will find him. We will get him," Elliott said. "The FBI is involved. Of course, they always are with kidnapping."

She said people should stay aware of who is around them and said the city police department goes out to various organizations to speak about personal security.

"I think we get around. We are community-oriented," she said.