The adoptive parents of Baby Veronica are in Oklahoma, planning to take their daughter back home to South Carolina.
The couple held a news conference at a downtown Tulsa hotel Wednesday morning.
Following the news conference, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued the following statement:
“Mr. and Mrs. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter. They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict. It is important for Veronica’s sake that Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family resolve this matter quickly and grant closure to all parties. If Mr. Brown is unwilling to cooperate with these reasonable expectations, then I will be forced to expedite his extradition request and let the issue be settled in court.”
Below is the statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker:
"The Capobiancos have requested the Cherokee Nation and Dusten Brown to follow the South Carolina court's order, but they forget that Dusten Brown has the same rights to have his arguments heard before our Oklahoma courts and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court. We respectfully ask the Capobiancos to allow that due process. The Cherokee people throughout time have stood our ground and for the rights of our people, and this is no different. We will continue to stand by Dusten and his biological daughter, Veronica, and for what is right."
Around noon, Clark Brewster, attorney for Dusten Brown, released this statement:
"We are in agreement with the Capobiancos that the best interest of Veronica is the most important consideration. The South Carolina court's determination of this issue was based upon facts as they existed almost two years ago. We are fully in favor of a present day determination of Veronica's best interest to be made by a court in the state where Veronica has lived for the past 19 months.
We will reach out to counsel for the Capobiancos to see if a resolution in Veronica's best interest can be reached by the parties. In that way, we hope the present impasse can be quickly resolved."
Jessica Munday, who said she is a family friend of Matt and Melanie Capobianco, spoke first during the news conference, explaining her role in the matter.
After Munday, Troy Dunn, an Oklahoma native who helps facilitate family reunions, spoke about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and his personal battle against the law.
"In 1983, my parents adopted a newborn baby in Oklahoma. That baby is my brother and we are best friends. By the way, my brother is Native American," Dunn said.
Dunn said his goal is to bring some level of closure to two families who "both love the same little girl."
He said he believes all conversations by both families in the past have been unproductive.
"All conversations should be focused on building a path forward," Dunn said.
Dunn said he would like to meet with Dusten Brown, Veronica's biological father, without lawyers present and as early as today.
"We are determined to bring our daughter home, but know we don't seek victory. There is none in this type of situation," said Melanie Capobianco, as she took the podium following Dunn.
Melanie said the couple requested a visit with their daughter as soon as they arrived in Oklahoma, but the request was denied.
"As a mother, my heart broke when that request was denied and we were told our visit was not in her best interest," she said.
Matt Capobianco took the podium after his wife, saying they plan to take Veronica home to South Carolina.
"If it takes another week, another month, another decade, we're not going anywhere. But of course, we believe what's best for Veronica is a resolution now," said Matt Capobianco.
Veronica is reportedly with her paternal grandparents. The location is unknown at this time.
There were many Dusten Brown supporters outside the press conference. They carried signs and many shouted, "Keep Veronica in Oklahoma!" One of the supporters said she is a friend of Brown's and has gone to stomp dances with the little girl.
"She's very happy and very well loved," said Traci DeWitt.
Brown posted bond Monday for a "custodial interference" charge after he missed a meeting in South Carolina. He had been at National Guard training out-of-state.
Tulsa's Channel 8 will have much more on this developing story in later newscasts.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>
Several Locust Grove High School students have joined together Friday morning to protest the firing of the coaches. All four were reportedly let go earlier this week but administrators have not released a reason.More >>
Several Locust Grove High School students have joined together Friday morning to protest the firing of the coaches. All four were reportedly let go earlier this week but administrators have not released a reason. More >>