Police receive new tips in search for Sky Metalwala


by KING 5 News


Posted on November 13, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 14 at 8:10 AM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Police have received a dozen tips from people who stopped at a checkpoint along 112th street NE in Bellevue Sunday as they continue to investigate the disappearance of two-year-old Sky Metalwala.
Drivers along 112th street NE in Bellevue stopped and talked with a contingent of police officers, who are hoping for a break in the case.
“Our hope is, as this has gained some notoriety throughout the week, there are people that we haven’t talked to yet that frequented that area last Sunday morning and by being out there, having the presence at the scene, maybe we’ll spark someone’s remembrance of an incident they saw last week,” Bellevue Police Maj. Mike Johnson said.
Johnson said police had about 20 to 30 contacts with people.

“Those contacts with vehicles and pedestrians led to the development of about 12 new tips that we’ll be following up on today,” said Johnson. “Specifically what the tips are I don’t know yet.”
Johnson said officers also spent time Sunday at the apartment complex of Julia Biryukova, Sky's mother, hoping to find someone who remembers something about last weekend that may help them find the child.
Bellevue police are also talking to authorities in other cities to get advice about how they handled similar cases.
Johnson said investigators have talked about the danger of focusing too much on any one area of the investigation.

“This notion of having tunnel vision on one particular theory is something we have to avoid as we consider every possible option that’s out there,” said Johnson. “We’re trying to do that, we’re checking each other on that as we move forward and we feel confident to date that we’ve done that.”

But, Johnson said, in the absence of any really good leads and information it’s difficult to cross theories off the list.

Johnson said police remain frustrated with the information flow from Sky’s mother.

“But we understand that she’s traumatized by this and devastated by the loss of her son,” he said. “We’re hopeful that if she can gather herself we can have that conversation that we need to have.”
Sky disappeared along 112th Street NE November 6 after Biryukova said her car ran out of gas. She said she left the boy strapped into his car seat and went to get help. When she returned an hour later, the boy was gone.
Bellevue police along with various police agencies including the FBI, have been searching for the boy, using a variety of tactics. Intense searches in the area where the boy was last seen have been conducted as well as at his Redmond home. More than 350 tips have also come in. 
Sunday they set up a partial roadblock on 112th NE in hopes that those who normally drive this route on Sundays may recall information from a week ago. Besides police officers standing by, big placards with Sky Metalwala's picture and description are posted on the road. Some drivers are stopping to talk, but police would not elaborate on what information they are receiving.
While the search continues on a number of fronts, speculation about possible charges against the mother grows. Bellevue Police Major Mike Johnson saying "on Monday we will be talking to prosecutors and will determine then if anything will happen, but that won't happen until Monday."  

The Bellevue Police Department is asking anyone with information to call the hotline at 425-452-2564.