Video of suspect in Vi Ripken’s kidnapping released

Composite drawing of suspect
Aberdeen police released this composite drawing of the suspect in the abduction of Violet R. Ripken.
(Composite drawing from Aberdeen Police Department)

Police released a new video Tuesday that shows a man believed to have kidnapped Violet R. Ripken stopping during the abduction to shop at an Anne Arundel County store.

As the investigation continues, Ripken, the 74-year-old mother of Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., has been resting, relaxing and spending time with friends and family, according to a spokesman.

Ripken was abducted at gunpoint from her Aberdeen home the morning of July 24, bound in her 1998 Lincoln Town Car and dropped off about 24 hours later within yards of her house in the 400 block of Clover St.

“Mrs. Ripken is doing well; like anyone would be, she was rattled by the experience but thankfully she is doing OK,” family spokesman John Maroon said.


The Aberdeen Police Department on Tuesday released a 35-second video from the night of the abduction that shows the man sought by police in what appears to be a Walmart. The man, believed to be in his mid-30s to mid-40s, exited the store with a white plastic bag. He is considered armed and dangerous, said Lt. Fred Budnick of the Aberdeen police.

Budnick remained tight-lipped on the details of the investigation, declining to say whether police knew what the man may have purchased and whether he used cash or credit. Police also released a composite sketch, produced from witness accounts.

“This is still an active ongoing investigation, no specific motive has been identified, several theories are being explored,” Aberdeen police said in an email.

Each of the Ripken children have been interviewed by the authorities, which is considered routine, Maroon said. The Ripken family has said little about the situation because of the investigation, he said.


Ripken’s neighbor of 46 years, Pauline Rhode, said she spent Monday relaxing with Ripken. Rhode said the women did not speak about the kidnapping.

“She seems to be doing OK, for the ordeal, for what she went through; she’s pretty tough,” Rhode said. “I made her a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and we stayed home. We were sitting outside. I got hummingbird feeders and we were watching the birds and reminiscing a little bit.”

Budnick, the police lieutenant, said Violet Ripken has been helping with the investigation. Budnick said police have received more than 50 tips in the case, but are still looking for a break that will lead to the culprit’s capture and arrest. Rewardsup to $2,000 are being offered for tips that lead to a conviction.

“We know for a fact he was in Anne Arundel County the night of the incident,” Budnick said. “Somebody might have seen him at this establishment and not thought anything of it. We’re looking for any kind of tip.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this report.

If you have a tip

Aberdeen Police Department is asking people with information on the abduction of Violet R. Ripken to call 410-836-5436. Tips that lead to a conviction may be eligible for up to $2,000 in rewards through Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland and Harford County Crime Solvers.

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