TULSA - The adoptive parents of "Baby Veronica," a Cherokee child at the center of a custody fight, spoke Wednesday about their struggle to regain custody of their daughter.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco arrived in Tulsa Tuesday night and called a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa.
Matt Capobianco said earlier this week he was prepared to travel to Oklahoma to retrieve his daughter. When he took the podium Wednesday he said he kept his word. "Here I am," Capobianco said.
The Capobiancos said their requests to see Veronica have been denied. Melanie says she's determined to see her daughter returned, though it will not be a victory.
RELATED: Birth father of 'Baby Veronica' taken into custody, released on bond (http://bit.ly/13elL3I)
The couple arrived in Tulsa just hours after Gov. Mary Fallin said she would not take quick action in the extradition order for Veronica's biological father from South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Fallin said Tuesday Dusten Brown deserves his day in court here in Oklahoma but she later released an updated statement Wednesday, saying she was prepared to extradite Brown if he failed to cooperate with the Capobiancos.
RELATED: Governor says Brown should cooperate or face extradition (http://bit.ly/16Lcihz)
Brown's attorneys, Clark Brewster and Robert Nigh, also issued a statement following the press conference, saying they will reach out to the Capobiancos to seek a resolution:
"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."
A South Carolina judge ordered Brown's arrest last week for felony custodial interference after he failed to return Veronica to the Capobiancos. He turned himself in to Sequoyah County authorities Monday and quickly posted $10,000 bond.
RELATED: High court says Indian Child Welfare Act not applicable in 'Baby Veronica' case (http://bit.ly/1aKpgzF)
Custody of Veronica was awarded to the Capobiancos last month after a South Carolina court ruled they are the rightful parents of the nearly 4-year-old girl, whom they raised for the first two years of her life. She was then turned over to Brown due to the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law giving tribes and relatives a say in decisions affecting children with Native American heritage.
Brown claimed Veronica's biological mother gave her up for adoption without his knowledge.
The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled ICWA did not apply to the case because Brown was a non-custodial parent, sending the case back to the lower court, which named the Capobiancos Veronica's parents.
When Brown failed to appear at a court-ordered visitation with the Capobianco Aug. 4 as part of a transition plan, the next day a judge issued an immediate transfer order requiring Brown to hand over Veronica. When he did not, an arrest warrant was issued.
RELATED: Immediate transfer ordered for 'Baby Veronica' (http://bit.ly/197hUbp )
Brown and Veronica are at an undisclosed location and his attorneys are fighting a request from a South Carolina judge to reveal their location.
His next court date is Sept. 12 after which Fallin says she may make a decision on the extradition request.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Also in the headlines
Glow Downtown holiday light tour kicked off the Christmas season with festivities at Guthrie Green, The Deco District and the BOK Center, Dec. 1
Click through photos to see the balloons at the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Marathoners and half-marathoners run in the 2013 Williams Route 66 Marathon, Nov. 24, 2013