A weekend of high tension surrounding the custody fight over Baby Veronica culminated in a Monday press conference called by Matt and Melanie Capobianco, vowing that without action from state and federal law enforcement, Matt would board a plane and pick up the three-year old that a Charleston County court has said belongs with his family.
On Friday evening, Dusten Brown, Veronica’s biological father, became a wanted man on felony charges of custodial interference after a Charleston County arrest warrant was issued by the sheriff’s office. When Brown didn’t turn himself in on Sunday morning near Camp Dodge outside Des Moines, Iowa, where he was stationed for National Guard duty, local officials began coordinating with Oklahoma authorities to take Brown into custody. Later Sunday, Brown obtained clearance to leave his post in Iowa to return to Oklahoma for an emergency tribal meeting this morning at 10 a.m. The Post and Courier says tribal officials are “expected to be favorable to his pleas” during the hearing, which is closed to the public.
In front of a neighborhood gazebo near the Capobiancos house this morning, Matt and Melanie issued a plea to law enforcement involved in the case, asking “Where are you?” wiping away tears as they explained their anxiety over the girl’s safety, saying their daughter “has been kidnapped.” In an interview with the South Carolina Radio Network, Melanie said, “We’ve tried to work so hard to make this a smooth transition,” saying that she thought the Browns were “using our kindness against us.” Via an emailed statement this morning, the Capobiancos’ spokesperson Jessica Munday called it “outrageous that nothing is being done to bring this child home to her legal parents” after two and a half days, “Where’s the Amber Alert?” she said. Though the Capobiancos say they are reluctant to take matters into their own hands, Matt Capobianco said today that he would fly to Oklahoma himself, lamenting efforts to abide by legal channels throughout the process over the past two years, telling his daughter, “Veronica, little stinker, daddy’s coming.”
It’s unclear how today’s tribal hearing will affect other legal proceedings, but Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said Friday after the initial arrest warrant was issued that once Brown is apprehended, “the extradition process to return him to Charleston will begin.”