NEW: Police say Vi Ripken was found in the back seat of her car, hands bound
Police in Aberdeen, Maryland, say a gunman forced her into a car at her home Tuesday
She was found unharmed about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, they say
The family of Cal Ripken Jr. expresses gratitude that his mother is safe
The man who abducted the mother of Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. from her Maryland home restrained her and appeared to have used her credit cards, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
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.
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.
Investigators are looking for a motive. Aberdeen police said that they have no knowledge of a ransom being demanded or paid, and that Cal Ripken apparently wasn’t contacted.
“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.
The official was not aware of any attempt to ask anyone for a ransom, but said the suspect did take Mrs. Ripken’s credit cards and it appears he has used them at several places.
Police believe the suspect drove the woman’s silver 1998 Lincoln Town Car throughout central Maryland but they aren’t sure of precise locations.
Police are looking for a white male with a light, thin build in his late 30s to early 40s last seen wearing a light-colored shirt, glasses and “camo pants.” Police consider the man armed and dangerous.
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.
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