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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 08/03/2012

Cal Ripken Jr. says his mother is doing “pretty well,” asks public for info on kidnapping (updated)


Vi Ripken, with sons Billy (left) and Cal Jr., in 2002, is recovering from her abduction last week. (ROBERTO BOREA / AP)
Updated at 10:50 a.m. after Ripken’s press conference

Cal Ripken said his mother is physically fine, but she and the Ripken family are still recovering from the psychological effects of her recent kidnapping.

Vi Ripken’s 23-hour ordeal began when she was taken from her Aberdeen, Md, garage at gunpoint early on the morning of July 24. Her abductor drove her around for about 23 hours, then returned her to a house a few doors down from her own the next morning. Ripken noted that his mother, 74, is tough, but that her sense of security has not returned.

“She’s doing as well as expected. She’s a tough woman, but it’s a very traumatic ordeal,” Ripken said in a “Good Morning America” interview. “It’s almost one of those bizarre things that happen. You’re looking at it and saying, ‘Is this really happening to us?’ Mom’s doing pretty well.”

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Still shaken, Vi Ripken and her four children are still seeking answers for why the abduction occurred.

“She’s not back in her home yet. I guess that gives you some indication of how she’s feeling. Your sense of security is violated,” the Baltimore Orioles’ Hall of Famer said. “Family is being close to her right now and trying to help her through that. Certainly we’ll look at things a lot differently, she’ll look at things a lot differently going forward.”


Aberdeen police released this composite sketch of the suspect. (HO)
The case is, as Ripken noted, bizarre. There’s no indication that she was targeted for her famous last name. In fact, there’s not much information about the case at all, which is why Ripken talked with “GMA” and held a press conference this morning.

“Who knows what actually happened in the car for that period of time? Mom tries to articulate it, but really it was just her trying to stay calm, her trying to hope and believe that she was going to be returned,” Ripken said. “As far as motive, we don’t know. Quite honestly, we don’t know the reason why this all occurred.

“I think part of the reason for coming on today is everybody has asked about how my mom is doing and how she’s feeling. And I want to articulate that to everyone. She’s doing pretty well; she’s doing fine so thank you all for caring about her. The other part is ... law enforcement needs your help. So by going on TV hopefully somebody will know something about the case or somebody will see the suspect and offer a tip or a clue to the police department.”

Aberdeen police have released a sketch and video of a suspect but few other details.

Ripken was more expansive and emotional in his press conference .

“It was the worst feeling you can imagine,” Ripken said. “About 9 o'clock at night, my sister called me and said ... the car with my mom's tags on it was reported and a woman was tied up in the back seat of the car, and wanted to know if we knew where Mom was. So we couldn't find Mom. So then the worst fear was that it was her tied up in the back of the car.

“We just tried to figure it out and tried to help the best we could. I actually physically got in the car and drove around. It was like finding a needle in the haystack, I suppose, but I needed to feel like I was doing something. I think we were hardening ourselves for the worst possibility. I know I was. And then when she was back, brought back, all the emotions that you were storing from hardening yourself against it kind of came out. It was a horrible night.”

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More

Vi Ripken unharmed after abduction

Police release video, sketch of suspect

By  |  10:50 AM ET, 08/03/2012

 
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