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No arrests for Vi Ripken kidnapping case, three years later

No arrests for Vi Ripken kidnapping 3 years later, but leads still coming in, police say

Three years after the queen of Aberdeen's baseball royal family was kidnapped at gunpoint and driven around the state, city police said they still hope the public can help track down Vi Ripken's mysterious assailant.

"On the anniversary [of the incident], it's a great time to put awareness back out," Sgt. Will Reiber, an Aberdeen Police Department spokesman, said Wednesday morning. "As recently as the last several weeks, leads have come in."

Reiber said the case remains under investigation, and he urged residents to keep giving police information on the possible suspect.

Within days of the kidnapping, police and Ripken's son, baseball hall of fame member Cal Ripken Jr., announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the man responsible. Most of the money was put up by the Ripken family.

The reward remains on the table, Aberdeen Police Department Sgt. Shannon Persuhn said.

On July 24, 2012, Ripken reported being kidnapped from her home by the suspect and driven around central Maryland. She was found the following day inside the car, which was parked near her home. Her hands were bound, but she was otherwise uninjured.

Police at the time released surveillance camera images of a suspect, who appeared to be a white man in a baseball cap.

"This investigation is still very much active, very much ongoing," Reiber said. "This is not all for nothing."

Reiber said investigators have considered "a large body of people," but have yet to make any arrests or release a name of a suspect. The FBI has been assisting with the case.

Although it may seem like the investigation is stalled, "the reality is, there has been work behind the scenes," he said, adding the case is "at the forefront of investigators' minds."

A Havre de Grace man, 34-year-old Jesse Bowen, pleaded guilty last year to another armed attack on Ripken, outside the National Bank of Rising Sun on West Bel Air Avenue. That incident took place about a year after the kidnapping.

Police said the incidents did not seem to be connected, nor did it appear Ripken was targeted in the second crime because of who she is.

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