Vi Ripken abduction: Family offers $100,000 reward for information

Vi Ripken was abducted last year from her Maryland home. While she was released unharmed, the family of Vi Ripken is offering a reward for information that assists police in making an arrest in the case.

Steve Ruark/AP
Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., right, speaks to John Walsh, former host of "America's Most Wanted" during a news conference to announce a $100,000 reward for information in connection to the unsolved abduction of Vi Ripken, Ripken's mother, which happened more than a year ago, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 at Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore.

Cal Ripken Jr. announced a $100,000 reward Thursday for information that helps lead to the capture and conviction of the person who abducted his mother a year ago.

Vi Ripken was taken from her Aberdeen home at gunpoint on July 24, 2012, and returned unharmed 24 hours later. The former Oriole said he hoped the reward would re-energize his mother's unsolved case.

In the crime's immediate aftermath, the Aberdeen Police Department released a sketch, photographs and a surveillance video that were believed to show the potential suspect.

But tips resulting from those have failed to bring to an arrest, prompting the Hall of Famer to announce the reward at a press conference just steps from his old home ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"I think in some ways maybe this should've happened earlier," Ripken said of the reward offered on behalf of his company, Ripken Baseball, and the Ripken family. "I think in the beginning ... we were all hopeful that (an arrest) would happen pretty quickly and we were all encouraged. But, you know, it is what it is."

Aberdeen Police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick said at the briefing at the Sports Legends Museum that the department has no new videos or photographs to help identify the suspect. He added that the department has received dozens of new tips since issuing a press release last week to mark the one-year anniversary of the crime, but none has panned out.

Budnick did not specify whether investigators believed the suspect resides in Aberdeen — about 30 minutes northeast of Baltimore — or elsewhere in Harford County.

Former "America's Most Wanted" TV host John Walsh joined Ripken at the announcement, pledging his help.

Walsh said the Ripken case would be featured on the front page of his organization's website and on its hotline. He also said the reward had the potential to yield new information.

"The average citizen . they're not looking for the rewards," Walsh said. "But in the criminal community, amongst the lowlifes who populate this country, 100 grand is a lot of money."

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