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Police release photos of suspect in kidnapping of Cal Ripken's mother

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:17 PM EDT, Thu July 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police offer a $2,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest of the suspect
  • A gunman forced Violet Ripken into a car at her home Tuesday
  • She was found unharmed about 24 hours later, they say
  • Police are still looking for motive, saying there were no ransom demands

(CNN) -- Police released two photos Thursday of a man they suspect abducted the mother of Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. from her Aberdeen, Maryland, home before she was found nearly 24 hours later tied up in the back seat of her car.

The pictures, which appear to come from surveillance cameras, show a man wearing an orange and black baseball cap with sunglasses on the brim and a light-colored button-down shirt.

There is also a $2,000 reward for a tip leading to the man's conviction, Aberdeen police said.

A reward poster described the man as 5-feet-10, 180 pounds with short brown hair. Earlier police said he was in his late 30s to early 40s.

Officials in Aberdeen say they are still looking for motives in the case and haven't found evidence of ransom demands for Violet Ripken, the mother of a baseball Hall of Famer.

Violet Ripken is home safe with relatives after she was abducted.
Violet Ripken is home safe with relatives after she was abducted.
Police in Aberdeen released a photo Thursday of a man believed to have abducted Ripken.
Police in Aberdeen released a photo Thursday of a man believed to have abducted Ripken.

Ripken, 74, was safe and resting with relatives Wednesday after a nearly daylong ordeal, authorities said.

Police said a man with a gun showed up at her home between 7 and 8 a.m. Tuesday, forced her into her vehicle and drove off. She was found about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday in the back seat of the vehicle near her home with her hands bound, but she was otherwise unharmed, police said.

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"At this time I can say we know of no ransom demand," Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert told reporters on Wednesday. He also said police don't know of any relationship between the suspect and the Ripken family.

Trabert said Violet Ripken was understandably upset after the ordeal.

The official said the suspect put sunglasses on the woman and they drove around all day and made stops for gas, using Ripken's credit cards at several places. The official said the suspect made no mention of Cal Ripken, an indication that he might not have known she is the mother of one of baseball's most popular stars.

Police believe the suspect drove the woman's silver 1998 Lincoln Town Car throughout central Maryland but they aren't sure of precise locations.

Rich Wolf, a spokesman for the FBI in Baltimore, said the agency is helping local police investigate the case.

The Ripken family released a statement expressing gratitude for Violet Ripken's safe return.

"This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy," the statement said.

Cal Ripken Jr. achieved stardom as a shortstop with the Baltimore Orioles and is a member of baseball's Hall of Fame.

He holds the Major League Baseball record for playing in the most consecutive games -- 2,632 from 1982 to 1998. He made 19 straight All-Star appearances and won two Most Valuable Player awards, racking up 3,184 hits and 431 home runs. He is a baseball analyst for TBS, which like CNN is owned by Time Warner.

His Ripken Baseball group owns three minor league teams, including the Aberdeen IronBirds.

Cal Ripken Sr. -- who was a manager, coach and scout in the Orioles organization for 36 years -- died in 1999.

CNN's Carol Cratty contributed to this report

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