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Police: Cal Ripken’s mom abducted, now safe

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - This Oct. 6, 2001 file photo shows Cal Ripken escorting his mother, Vi, from the field, after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Cal's final game, at Oriole Park in Baltimore. Police say Cal Ripken Jr.'s mother is safe after an armed man abducted her from her home northeast of Baltimore. Aberdeen police say 74-year-old Vi Ripken was kidnapped between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 24, 2012, by a man who forced her into her car. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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ABERDEEN, Md. >> Cal Ripken Jr.’s 74-year-old mother was found with her hands bound in the back seat of her car today after being kidnapped at gunpoint a day earlier at her home outside Baltimore and driven around blindfolded by her abductor, police and neighbors said.

Investigators do not know the kidnapper’s motive and there was no ransom demand for Vi Ripken’s release, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said at a news conference.

The gunman forced Ripken into her silver Lincoln Continental between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said. She was found unharmed but shaken about 6:15 a.m. today near her home in Aberdeen, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.

When asked if police believe the kidnapper knew who he was abducting, Trabert did not answer, saying police don’t know the motive or if the suspect any ties to the Ripken family.

“This case is still brand new,” Trabert said.

Hall of Fame infielder Cal Ripken Jr. earned the nickname “Iron Man” for playing in 2,632 consecutive games during his 21-year career with the Baltimore before voluntarily ending the streak in 1998.

Next-door neighbor Gus Kowalewski said he spoke with Vi Ripken later this morning. The 72-year-old retired autoworker said Ripken told him the gunman tied her hands and put a blindfold on her, but said he wouldn’t hurt her.

“He lit cigarettes for her, they stopped for food,” Kowalewski said. “He said, ‘I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to take you back,’ and that’s what he did.”

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