Police release age progression composite sketch in Vi Ripken abduction

Posted at 1:35 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 07:01:09-04
The Ripken name is forever tied to Aberdeen, and that's where someone brought the famous family to its knees when they abducted the Iron Man's mother, Vi, from her own home back in July of 2012.
"He wanted her money and her car and told her to get in the car... tied her up... blindfolded her,” said one of the victim’s neighbors, Gus Kowalewski, at the time, “He was going to put tape on her eyes or something first, but then he put this mask on her and then drove off."
The following day, Ripken turned up in her abandoned car just a block or so from her home, and police would later circulate these images of her alleged abductor, but they've never been able to track him down.
Now, one of the country's top forensic sketch artists has come up with this new drawing, which shows how the suspect may have aged since he went on the lam five years ago.
"We thought it would be a great opportunity to put this image out there and hope... you can see the clear image of the individual,” said Lt. William Reiber of the Aberdeen Police Department, “I think he looks very unique and someone out there in the audience that we're hoping to capture will look at this image and say, 'Wow.  That was an old friend, a neighbor, an acquaintance, a co-worker,' just to kind of keep the image in people's minds and maybe find the person who did this."
Since the abduction, Aberdeen Police and the FBI have responded to countless tips and the city detectives, alone, have put more than a 1,000 man hours into the case.
In the absence of a clear motive, a confession or an arrest, the crime has become the subject of widespread speculation that continues to this day.
"Everybody has a story and you just think some of them are just kind of humorous,” said Mary Kowalewski, “Everybody likes to make an ending if they don't have one you know?"
If you recognize the man in the sketch, you're asked to call the lead detective on this case, John Divel, at 410-272-2121, extension 132.