UPDATE: Mother of kidnapped children needs help fixing damaged c - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Mother of kidnapped children needs help fixing damaged car

Posted: Updated:
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: While Melanie Moore is still locked up in jail, people are now trying to fix the damages left behind.

The city of East Ridge is waiting on an insurance quote before fixing the fence, but the mother who's car was stolen, now needs help repairing the car.

"I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest. I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to say," said Heather Powell.
    
Powell says she will never forget the moment she realized her car had been stolen with her two little boys inside.

5-year-old Cayden and 7-year-old Landen were asleep in the backseat while Powell had just briefly gone inside the home, leaving the car running and the kids inside.

"But this one time, they were asleep," Powell said, "It was fall break, they had been out for four days, and went back Monday, and they were tired when they got out of school."

Police later found the children at Camp Jordan park and arrested Melanie Moore.
    
Powell is still shaken up by the incident and didn't want her face on camera during the interview.
    
The boys weren't hurt, but they were scared.

"And then the oldest one he says he's more afraid of being kidnapped than the dark," Powell said, "He's not afraid of the dark anymore."
    
Evidence tape still covers Powell's car door and duct tape is now holding up her front headlight.
    
Powell is thankful her family is now safe but the car's damage isn't covered by her liability insurance.

"I just wish it wouldn't have been so much, and I would be able to fix a little bit here and there, with it being the whole front end it's just, and all the dents down the sides of it..." Powell explained.
    
Powell started a Go Fund Me page asking for help.

"If I had a mechanic that'd be great," Powell said. "I mean, just anything really, just to get it run-able so me and my kids can get back and forth to school and everything else."

The car was driven through two fences surrounding the playground and later crashed into another fence.
    
East Ridge Parks and Rec Director Stump martin is waiting on insurance to find out the cost of those repairs.

"Our crew, a city crew not a parks and rec crew, actually put this fence up, so I'm sure if they put it up they can repair it if we get the right parts," Martin said, "And we can do that."

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PREVIOUS STORY: Melanie Celeste Moore faces charges in Tennessee and Georgia after police say she stole two different cars, including one with two children inside and took them on a ride across state lines.

Detectives say Moore stole a Ford Escort from a home on Karen Drive in Catoosa County, Ga. with 7-year-old Landen and 5-year-old Cayden.

"All that matters is that they were found alive, safe, and not hurt," said Mary Pitsch, the children's grandmother.

Pitsch says her daughter-in-law's car was stolen from her driveway. The children's mother, she says, had briefly gone inside the home for gas money, leaving the car running, when it happened.

"She wasn't in there for more than two to three minutes, she came back out and the car was gone," Pitsch said.

Police say Moore took the kids to Camp Jordan Park where she let them out of the car before crashing into a fence and stealing another woman's car.

"There were families there who grabbed their kids and tucked them into safety while she went out in the middle of the field, did a donut in the field and got stuck in this gate," Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said.

According to the incident report, she jumped in the back seat of a VW Jetta and yelled at the driver to "give her a f***ing ride." The driver got out of the car, called police and followed Moore in a friend's car.

East Ridge police arrested Moore one mile away on Scruggs Road for two counts of theft and two counts of reckless endangerment.

As Moore was taken into the East Ridge Police Department for booking, she ran from police. Police caught her in the parking lot and escorted her inside the building where she was also then charged with escape.

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