Sky Metalwala's grandmother disagrees with a judge's ruling that grants custody of the missing two-year-old's sister to the children's father, Solomon Metalwala.
Asked by KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels to comment on the decision, Nadia Biryukova wrote in an email:
"I’m not exactly sure how to react to the decision. On one hand, I would like to be happy that Maile will be with one of her parents; on the other hand, I feel somewhat uneasy about the father. On one hand, I used to know Solomon as caring and loving husband and father; on the other hand, there is something pretty mysterious and questionable about him."
Nadia Biryukova also wrote to Daniels that she believes Sky's sister, Maile, "would be better off staying with a good foster family and have visitations of both parents for now."
Sky Metalwala was reported missing by his mother, Julia Biryukova, on Nov. 6. Maile was placed in the care of the state Department of Social and Health Services shortly afterward.
Metalwala and Julia Biryukova had been fighting over custody of the children during a year-long divorce battle. At the time when Sky disappeared, Biryukova had custody of Sky and his sister, and Solomon had not seen either child in nearly a year.
Bellevue police said Julia Biryukova still hasn't given them a full statement about what happened the day she reported Sky's disappearance. At a custody hearing on Monday, DSHS officials said Julia's less-than-full cooperation was just one factor in their opinion to reverse the previous custody arrangement.
"In the custody, the wrong parent might have won, and I'm not sure based on the record I've seen, we can't establish domestic violence in the relationship. The mother has very profound mental health issues," said Tony Masco, assistant state attorney.
DSHS would not comment Wednesday on a timetable for reuniting Maile with Solomon. At Monday's hearing, Metalwala was granted custody of Maile on the condition that King County lifted a protection order prohibiting Metalwala from unsupervised visits with his children. On Tuesday, a King County judge lifted that order, clearing the way for Maile to leave foster care.