Police 'not yet there' on criminal case in Sky's disappearance


by KING 5 News


Posted on November 14, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 14 at 3:29 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Police say they are keeping all possibilities open in the search for two-year-old Sky Metalwala, but they have not yet launched a criminal investigation.

“At some point, it would not be unlikely this would become a criminal investigation, however, we’re not yet there.” Bellevue Police Major Mike Johnson said Monday. “The thing we are lacking is evidence, and as soon as we can have enough evidence to point us one direction or the other, we can flip that switch and call it something else.”

More than 900 tips have come in since Sky disappeared on November 6, but Johnson said none have panned out.

Police say Sky’s mother, Julia Biryukova, claims she left Sky alone in her car on 112th Street NE after the car ran out of gas. She left the boy strapped into his car seat and went to get help. When she returned an hour later, Sky was gone.

Police tested the car, which they say still had gas in it, last week. There were no apparent problems with the car.

Biryukova has not yet come in for questioning or taken a polygraph test.

“We’ve continued to reach out to Julia through her attorney. We have not had any response in regard to a desire to come in and talk to us at length,” Johnson said. He could not say what specific questions police had asked of Biryukova recently. Due to that, he said it wasn’t fair to characterize her as being uncooperative.

When asked about the possibility that Biryukova might choose to leave the state or the country, he said police would want her to talk to them first about that, even though she has not been named a person of interest or a suspect.

Johnson stressed to the public that anyone with a tip, no matter how insignificant it seems, should come forward with the information.  The Bellevue Police Department is asking anyone with information to call the hotline at 425-452-2564.

At the request of the FBI, a portion of the Cedar Falls Landfill remains cordoned off to new shipments of garbage. Last week, police said they had been in contact with the landfill's managers and wanted to protect any potential evidence that may have been tossed out at Biryukova's Redmond apartment.

Police, Sky’s father and volunteers spent the weekend canvassing the area, posting flyers with pictures of Sky. Searchers also looked around Marymoor Park in Redmond.  A partial roadblock was set up Sunday along 112th Street NE to talk to drivers about the case. They said a dozen tips came in as a result of the stops.