Ripken Abduction: Cal Ripken Jr. Increase Award


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Cal Ripken Jr. made an announcement Thursday at the Sports Legends Museum next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, that his family has raised the reward from $2,000 to $100,000 for any information leading to the man that kidnapped his mother last year.

"In our minds, this is important, not only for us and our community, but for all communities," Ripken said Thursday. "We would like to get closure on this case and give all of us some peace of mind."

The Hall of Fame infielder's mother, Vi Ripken, was taken at gunpoint from her home in Aberdeen and was held captive for 24 hours. She was dropped off a few yard from her home and was unharmed.

Law enforcement officials and John Walsh, host of the "America's Most Wanted" television show were also present when Ripken made the announcement. Walsh pledged the help of his show's tip line and website, and he also guaranteed that all informants would remain anonymous. "This might not be the first time he did it, and we want to make sure it's his last," said Ripken.

Although she was traumatized by the event, Ripken said that his "strong-willed" mother is determined to live a normal life. "She's more cautious, she's more careful. Her decisions are not as easy," he said. Last week, during an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Vi Ripken said that she is working to find the right balance between vigilance and fear. "I didn't want to go and hide," Ripken said. "I felt like if I keep away from things, it's not going to be very fun for me. I just had to face it."

Anyone with information can call the "America's Most Wanted" hot line at 1-800-CRIME-TV or the FBI at 410-265-8080.