Police: No arrest imminent in Sky Metalwala disappearance


by KING 5 News


Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 15 at 6:46 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Police said Tuesday that there is no truth to reports that an arrest is imminent in the case of Sky Metalwala, the two-year-old who was reported missing ten days ago.

Bellevue Police Major Mike Johnson, at a morning press conference, said the investigation remains a missing persons case.

"Has the investigation switched from a missing persons investigation to a criminal investigation? I would say no," Johnson said. "I've talked several times about this notion of all theories being relevant. We have still yet to be able to cross out any viable options. Any and all options that relate to Sky's disappearance are still on the table."

Sky hasn’t been seen since November 6. That’s when his mother, Julia Biryukova, said she left her son alone in her car after she thought it ran out of gas. When she returned an hour later, the boy was gone.

Police were seen overnight headed to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood where Biryukova’s brother lives. Johnson would not confirm if that’s where detectives were headed.

Biryukova has continued to refuse requests by police to come in for questioning or to take a polygraph. Johnson said the last time police spoke with her face-to-face was the night Sky disappeared.

Johnson would not specifically state that police know where Biryukova is. “If we need to talk to Julia, we feel confident that we can do that through her attorney," said Johnson.

Johnson said he was not aware of reports that the search for Sky was expanded to Scottsdale, Ariz.

When asked about Sky’s passport and whether he was taken out of the country, Johnson said, ”That's one of those things I don't want to talk specifically about, but I can assure you those types of concerns are our concerns as well and we've taken appropriate steps to make sure we know what we need to know.”

Johnson also would not comment on how a dating website that includes a profile with Biryukova’s photo plays into the investigation.

Meanwhile, Sky's father, Solomon Metalwala, spent four hours with Sky's older sister, who has been in state custody since her brother was reported missing last week. The visit took place in a restaurant under supervision of Child Protective Services.

Metalwala and Biryukova were still negotiating a divorce and custody arrangement at the time of Sky's disappearance.  Metalwala had not had custody of the two children in more than a year, and this was his first visit with his daughter in more than 11 months.

Bellevue Police said Tuesday they have received more than 1,100 tips, but none that has been fully investigated has panned out so far. Johnson reiterated to the public that they should report any tip, no matter how insignificant. The Bellevue Police Department is asking anyone with information to call the hotline at 425-452-2564.

Johnson acknowledged other agencies helping out in the investigation, including the use of FBI profilers and the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team, or CARD.