Five years after one of their city’s most famous residents was abducted from her home, Aberdeen police on Wednesday released a composite sketch of the man they say is responsible for kidnapping Vi Ripken.
Ripken — the mother of Cal, Billy, Ellen and Fred and the widow of Cal Ripken Sr. — was abducted from her home on July 24, 2012 and was returned to the block where she lived the following morning. Since then, Aberdeen police and the FBI have maintained an investigation.
On Tuesday, Aberdeen police released an updated image of the suspect based upon a new artist rendering of what he would look like after five years.
Ripken — 74 at the time — was abducted at gunpoint from the garage of her Harford County home where she had lived for nearly 50 years. She was bound in the back of her car and driven around Central Maryland for nearly 24 hours. A video clip from a Walmart in Glen Burnie showed the suspect shopping during the time frame, police said.
A neighbor found her unharmed and waving a white sweater out of her car window after she was dropped off within yards of her home. Nearby, police were setting up a perimeter.
"Whatever was on this person's mind, I can just be thankful I wasn't hurt," Ripken said in an interview a year after the incident.
A longtime neighbor recounted information Ripken had relayed about the ordeal, including that the suspect blindfolded her, but lit cigarettes for her and gave her food. The suspect is believed to be white, was in his mid-30s to mid-40s, roughly 180 pounds and about 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He had short brown hair and glasses.
Anyone with information may contact Detective Divel with Aberdeen police at 410-272-2121, extension 132.
This story will be updated.
Baltimore Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger contributed to this story.