Only one person reports seeing missing boy in past 2 weeks

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Missing child

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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Only one person saw missing 2-year-old Sky Metalwala in the past two weeks aside from boy's mother, Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate said Tuesday.

That sighting was made by a neighbor, Iafrate said. In the meantime, detectives are questioning everyone close to the family.

"It's been over 48 hours and there's been nobody that's come forward telling us where Sky is, so obviously fould play is under consideration here," said Iafrate.

[TIPLINE: 425-452-2564]

Police have not received any new clues, and Iafrate asked anyone with any information to call the tipline.

"We want people to call in," she said. "That's how we've solved some of our crimes in the past. It's very important that if there's anybody that has information about Sky to call in."

Police are using three electronic billboards with a tipline to solicit information from the public. And the attorney for the boy's father, Solomon Metalwala, said his church is organizing a private search effort.

The boy's mother, Julie Biryukova, has declined a police request to take a polygraphy.

“We continue to invite (the mother) to take a polygraph, and as of yet she has not taken one,” said Iafrate. Iafrate said the mother is in contact and police are know where she is staying while the search for Sky continues.

Sky Metalwala hasn't been seen since Sunday morning. Biryukova told police she was taking Sky to Overlake Hospital on Sunday because he didn't feel well and that's why she was driving in Bellevue.

Biryukova said Sky  disappeared when she and her 4-year-old daughter left him in an unlocked car after the car ran out of gas in the 2400 block of 112th Ave N.E. Iafrate said that the daughter told police that Sky was in the car with them on Sunday morning.

A worker on duty Sunday morning at the North Towne Chevron, a little less than a mile from the scene, said Biryukova called a friend from the gas station to come get her.

When Biryukova came back about an hour later, she said Sky was gone. Investigators said the boy's car seat was still in the car and there were no signs of forced entry.

Iafrate said at least one of the car doors was unlocked, and that the vehicle started when they tested it, but cautioned that that was possible for a car that has been sitting for some time.

Police said if Sky climbed out of the car on his own, he would have to have release the harness on his seat, assuming he was buckled in, and would have had to open a car door that was parked facing up hill. For all those reasons, they think it's very unlikely he left on his own.

Bellevue Police Major Mike Johnson said it was "highly unlikely, but possible" the boy could have gotten out of the car by himself, but the information "just doesn't add up."

"We're going to search everything around the area of her location -- her home -- because that's the last place that Sky was prior to being in the car," said Iafrate

Police have not named Biryukova as a suspect, but investigators did search the Redmond apartment where Biryukova lives with Sky and her daughter, including the building's dumpsters.

Meanwhile,  the daughter is staying with a foster family under state supervision.

Sky's father took a polygraph test Monday night that came back inconclusive. His lawyer said Solomon was too tired to give an accurate result and would take another test later.

"I'm a dad. I'm going to be strong for my son, who's out there," Metalwala said Monday night. "Please to return Sky to the police officers, to the fire department, to the hospitals."

Metalwala said he has not seen his son in nearly a year due to a custody dispute with Biryukova.

On Tuesday, an attorney for Biryukova said she and Solomon Metalwala had entered into an agreement in which the mother was the primary parent and Metalwala had every other weekend with the children, but was limited to Saturday 10 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday 5 to 8 for two months.

The attorney said Biryukova really wanted that two-month period to be six months, but on Thursday she decided to accept the agreement.

Search teams went door-to-door and combed an area roughly 20 city blocks long on Sunday.  Police suspended the search in the wooded residential neighborhood around 6 p.m., but continued to follow up on other leads, including questioning the mother at headquarters.

"Search and rescue is confident that the child is nowhere in this area," said Iafrate.

Sam Metalwala, Solomon's brother, said Sky's mother once had an apartment in the neighborhood where the car was found on Sunday and that she may have been there because it was a familiar place.

Two years ago, police were called to the parking lot at the Redmond Target after Biryukova and Metalwala left Sky, then just a baby, sleeping in his car seat as the two shopped. An onlooker called police. Sky was left alone for nearly an hour.

The boy's father admitted Monday it was a stupid mistake and said he can't imagine how his ex could have done it again.

“Why is Julia out here at 8:50 a.m., especially in Bellevue, she lives all the way in Redmond. She has done something. I don't know what she has done,” Metalwala said.

Bellevue police would not comment on whether the Redmond incident was pertinent to this case.

"Right now we don't know. We can only go off what the mother told us," said Iafrate. "But we're going to search beyond that, and since we can't find the child right here in this area, we're going to be asking other questions."

No amber alert has been issued because this case doesn't meet the criteria, Iafrate said Tuesday. "One of the qualifications for an amber alert is if you have some type of suspect information. We do not have any suspect information at this point."

Police would like to hear from anyone that may have travelled along 112th Ave N.E., between SR 520 and NE 24th Ave N.E., Sunday morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The missing boy is half South Asian and Caucasian, 2-foot-2 and 39 pounds with brown eyes, a dark buzzcut hair and was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black and aqua blue sweatpants and white socks.

The car Biryukova drove is a silver, 1998 Acura Integra three-door coupe.

Anyone who saw these people or this vehicle on November 6 is asked to call (425) 452-2564 or email pdtipline@bellevuewa.gov

KING 5's Jim Forman, Liza Javier and Jake Whittenberg contributed to this report.

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