Cal Ripken says mother is well but shaken after abduction

BALTIMORE Fri Aug 3, 2012 3:11pm EDT

Former player Cal Ripken Jr. waves to fans at Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Poroy

Former player Cal Ripken Jr. waves to fans at Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Poroy

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BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Baseball Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken Jr. said on Friday that his mother is physically well but remains shaken after she was abducted last month at gunpoint from her Maryland home, tied up and driven around in her own car by a man police are still seeking.

"Law enforcement needs your help," Ripken said at a news conference in Baltimore, where Ripken was a star shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles.

Police said that early on the morning of July 24, 74-year-old Vivian Ripken was abducted from her garage, tied up and driven through several Maryland counties for nearly 24 hours before she was found unharmed about 100 yards from her Aberdeen, Maryland, home, inside her 1998 Lincoln Town Car.

They have released a composite sketch of a man described as white, with short brown hair and glasses, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and weighing about 180 pounds. Surveillance video from a Walmart store police believe he visited while with Ripken shows a man in a baseball cap entering the store and leaving after apparently making a purchase.

Police are releasing no other details while the investigation is underway, said Stephen Smith, deputy police chief in Aberdeen.

Authorities have posted five digital billboards around the city asking for leads from the public.

Police say they have no idea as to the motive for the abduction.

Smith called the case "bizarre," saying it was unlike other abductions he has dealt with in his 34-years in law enforcement. In most cases the victim and the suspect know each other, he said.

Ripken set the record of 2,632 consecutive Major League games played, breaking Lou Gehrig's record, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Philip Barbara)

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