Who is Melody Maldonado? Superhero mom clings to SUV after carjacker drives off with her children
HOBBS, NEW MEXICO: A shocking video shows a New Mexico mother clinging to the hood of her SUV as a carjacker drove away with her two young children inside. A woman identified as Melody Maldonado, 33, parked her white Hyundai Santa Fe in front of a store on July 4, according to the Hobbs Police Department. When she went back to her car, an unidentified woman shoved her aside and climbed inside the car.
As seen on security camera footage, the mother held on to the SUV's hood as the suspect drove away with her 6-year-old daughter and 11-month-old boy as the car speeds down East Navajo Drive at about 8.30 pm on the Fourth of July. The mother told Daily Mail, “She definitely heard me. I yelled for her to stop and that my kids were in the car. She kept driving. We went a good distance…she was swerving so that I would fall off.” Maldonado, not realizing that her foot was fractured, raced back to the convenience shop and asked the clerk to call the police.
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The woman's son, who was 11 months old, and daughter, 6, were in the car. Maldonado stated, “I didn’t care what happened to the car. I just wanted my kids back.” Meanwhile, according to the police, the perpetrator abandoned the six-year-old at an intersection before attempting to elude police, however, the Hobbs Police Department was able to find the car. Maldonado believes the suspect dumped her daughter out of the car because the girl had a phone and likely thought the police could have tracked them.
Ma'Rey, Maldonado's daughter, was shaken up after the incident, but some kind people took care of her and called the police, the mother claimed. Regina Castillo, 29, who abandoned the vehicle and made an attempt to flee from the police, was named as the suspect. Castillo was apprehended after being discovered hiding behind a pickup truck. She is accused of carjacking, and when police searched her, they found three active arrest warrants. Castillo's charges include failure to appear on charges of concealing identity, shoplifting, and failure to appear for traffic violations.
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Her criminal history reveals that she has been accused of stealing, forgery, two counts of resisting or obstructing an officer, and violence with a family member. It's still unclear why Castillo stole the car. She's expected back in court for this case on July 18. Meanwhile, according to the police, after receiving medical attention from EMS, the kids were eventually reunited with their mother. Meanwhile, Maldonado received medical attention for an injured foot and "a lot of road rash."