One year later, Vi Ripken's kidnapper still being sought

One year after Violet Ripken was kidnapped at gunpoint from her Harford County home and driven around the state for nearly 24 hours before being returned unharmed, police in her hometown of Aberdeen are still searching for the man responsible.

Ripken, the mother of Orioles "Ironman" Cal Ripken Jr. and the widow of former Orioles manager Cal Ripken, Sr., has largely returned to her life after the bizarre abduction, cheering on the Aberdeen IronBirds and remaining active in the community.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Police have continued to actively investigate her abduction by an unidentified middle-aged man, they said Wednesday.

They have remained stumped in the case despite having video surveillance of the suspect, which has been widely distributed throughout the region by local media, including The Baltimore Sun, and posting his image on billboards on Interstate 95 north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel and on Interstate 83 south of Cold Spring Lane.

"No additional details regarding the suspect or his motive have been developed," police said Wednesday.

Police asked that that footage be re-aired on today's anniversary.

The Ripken family has said repeatedly since the kidnapping occurred that they were shocked by it and don't know why the family matriarch would have been targeted. The abduction has made them rethink security, they have said.

"It's bizarre on many levels, and it's unsettling on many levels," Cal Ripken Jr. said at a news conference at Camden Yards in Baltimore last August.

The case has also shaken the Aberdeen community, and the inability of police to solve the case has caused tensions to linger.

Violet Ripken, who is in her 70s, has lived in her Clover Street home for nearly half a century, after establishing roots there with her husband, Cal Ripken Sr., a former Orioles coach and manager who died in 1999.

Tips in the case have come in over the last 12 months, police have said, but none have led them to the suspect, who they have described as a 5-feet 10-inches tall, 180-pound white man in his mid-30s to mid-40s with short brown hair and glasses.

The man forced Ripken at gunpoint into her 1998 Lincoln Town Car after hiding in her garage, law enforcement officials have said. He then tied her up and drove her around Central Maryland before dropping her off unharmed less than a half-mile from her home — even as police were on the lookout for Ripken and also were near her home.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the FBI at 410-265-8080.

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