She described him as a tall, thin white man with glasses wearing camouflage clothing, but police had few other details and didn't give a motive Thursday, though they did release photos of the suspect.
Ripken told a neighbor that her kidnapper didn't seem to know her son is the Hall of Fame infielder with the nickname "Iron Man" for playing in 2,632 consecutive games during his 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles.
Investigators said the kidnapping was peculiar, especially since there was no ransom demand. It was also unclear whether the abductor, who has not been found, has any ties to the Ripken family.
"What makes this more unusual is that we're not sure whether this was a [classic] kidnapping, per se, or what it was - which is part of what the investigation is," said Rich Wolf, an FBI spokesman.
Police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick could not explain how the man could have driven back into the neighborhood to drop off Ripken in her car at the same time officers were already in the area investigating.
"I think you have to remember we weren't sure what we were dealing with," Budnick said. "We were thinking we had a crime scene that we were looking at, and we had officers in that area, but I don't think it was that strange that he was able to get in there."
Police describe the suspect as a white man about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with short brown hair and glasses.