Biryukova family avoiding media ... and everyone else?

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 7:42 PM

BELLEVUE, Seattle -- No one answered Friday when a KING 5 reporter knocked on the door of the Redmond apartment where Julia Biryukova lives.

Her father is believed to be in Russia or Ukraine, and her mother Nadia Biryukova is not answering her door or returning messages.

“Two days ago, I saw her,” says Pichu Liu, who says she’s had a good relationship with Nadia, her next door neighbor and the grandmother of Sky Metalwala, the two-year-old reported missing on Sunday.

Liu recalled a moment in March when Nadia said her daughter was having marital problems.  “She told me about the problem with her daughter. She was crying.”

She doesn’t know why Nadia has not answered questions about her grandson’s disappearance.  However, “I heard her talking loud on the phone with someone, and know she’s been in and out.”

To date, the Biryukova family has not issued even a written statement. Biryukova’s criminal attorney has not returned messages or offered an interview.

But Julia Biryukova has been on Facebook. This week she added a new friend -- Stephanie Snider.

“She just wanted to see if there was a recent picture of Sky,” said Connie Snider, explaining why her daughter reached out to Julia.  Snider said the family has known Julia for years, and even had her over to the house last March as Biryukova was going through custody hearings.

“She was very concerned about every little item, every little detail,” said Snider.  “She was very, very concerned about the accusations about stability.”

But Snider said she also wonders why the family hasn’t said a thing since Sky allegedly disappeared on Sunday.

“I feel that’s the least they can do.  Come forward and make a statement, a polygraph statement, whatever, whatever it can be, especially Julia.”

“It’s a very rare scenario that’s playing out in Washington,” said child safety expert Alison Feigh, who works for the National Child Protection Training Center. “We counsel parents to get their face out there.  Parents have to be, you know, available both for law enforcement and hopefully have a family member or close friend be available to the media.”

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