Investigators do not know the kidnapper's motive and there was no ransom demand for Vi Ripken's release, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said at a news conference.
The gunman forced Ripken into her silver Lincoln Continental between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said. She was found unharmed but shaken about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday near her home in Aberdeen, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore, where her son's Ripken Baseball complex is located.
When asked if police believe the kidnapper knew who he was abducting, Trabert did not answer, saying police don't know the motive or if the suspect any ties to the Ripken family.
"This case is still brand new," Trabert said.
Next-door neighbor Gus Kowalewski said he spoke with Vi Ripken later Wednesday morning. The 72-year-old retired autoworker said Ripken told him the gunman tied her hands and put a blindfold on her, but said he wouldn't hurt her.
"He lit cigarettes for her, they stopped for food," Kowalewski said. "He said, 'I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to take you back,' and that's what he did."
Kowalewski said Ripken told him the gunman originally planned to put tape over her eyes.
"But he didn't do that because she said 'please don't do that 'cause I'm claustrophobic,'" he said.
Instead, the gunman put some type of mask or blinders on her, and she could see somewhat out the sides, he said.
Investigators determined that Ripken was missing Tuesday night after talking to another police department.