Missing boy's father believes Sky Metalwala could be with third party
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
January 9, 2012 · 3:19 PM
Many theories have been floated on the whereabouts of 2-year-old Sky Metalwala.
The boy allegedly went missing just over two months ago while in the custody of his mother, Redmond resident Julia Biryukova. She, and Sky's father Solomon, had been in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle for their two children.
But Solomon Metalwala, of Kirkland, and his attorney Clay Terry are speaking out with their own theories as to where the boy may be and are taking action.
One of the ways they are moving forward is to request that Solomon be granted sole custody of his daughter Maile, with no visitation by Biryukova.
Solomon was granted custody of his daughter on Dec. 5. Maile, 5, was placed in foster care after her brother went missing.
"When Maile was picked up by the police, she looked gaunt and weighed only 29 pounds," Terry told the Reporter. "She went to a foster home with really nice people … She went from listless to active, and now she is doing great."
Terry claims that Maile gained more than seven pounds in six weeks with the foster family.
Solomon was back in court Friday to ask the judge to withhold visitation for Biryukova due to the nature of the missing person's case.
"There are only two witnesses here. One of them is the person in position of authority, which is the mother, and the other is a minor child," said Terry, on Friday, arguing that any time that Maile spends with Biryukova could jeopardize the investigation.
Solomon and Terry are working to figure out if the boy could be with a friend or family member of Biryukova.
But they are having a hard time getting solid evidence of where the boy was during May through October of 2011.
"We need answers," said Terry. "We are not saying Sky was definitely not here after April, but we want to know when Sky was no longer here."
Solomon would not say if he has talked to Maile about the disappearance of Sky or if any new information has been found.
“I don’t want to put another burden on her to tell me where is Sky,” Solomon said. “This burden that she has needs to release from her…”
Biryukova has decided not to take advantage of her visitation rights but wants to retain the option.
“She desperately wants to see her child," Biryukova's attorney Rob Wyman told the judge. "… her decision not to visit at the moment is purely out of wanting things to go right.”
No decision was made on the matter and another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20.
Biryukova told police her car ran out of gas the morning of the disappearance, as she attempted to take the boy to the hospital. She left Sky in the unlocked car at the 2400 block of 112th Avenue Northeast while she walked with Maile to get help.
When she returned to the car, approximately an hour later, he was gone.
Police later tested the car and found that it had gas and there were no mechanical issues.
Terry was blunt in calling her story a lie.
"We are talking about a life of a 2-year-old child, whose mother is so vindictive and hateful, probably due to mental illness to some degree, that she is obsessed with the thought that she must prevent Solomon from (having) their children," Terry told the Reporter. "She is not intelligent, and she definitely does not have what many would consider a creative side … I am not saying that to be mean, but we are in the trenches trying to come up with a way to circumvent Julia’s silence while her baby is missing."
Terry and Solomon are holding out hope that the boy may be with a friend or family member of Biryukova.
One of their reasons for this is that other than one neighbor telling police that she saw the boy two weeks before his disappearance, they have found no evidence Sky was in his mother's care since April when her father visited from the Ukraine.
"Julia did a bit of a shuffle on all of us …," said Terry. "I suspected something, but because we were so wrapped up in the story that Sky just recently disappeared, we were all looking to the left, and we were not looking to the right."
When Solomon was granted custody of Maile he attempted to obtain her medical records from the year that he did not see his daughter. The doctor had not seen the two children in a year.
"Armed with this alarming information, just before Christmas, we contacted the children’s health insurance carrier, who told us that there had been no medical claims for payments made for either child in 2011," said Terry. "Now that was the shocker."
He and Solomon began sending letters out to Eastside doctors asking them to contact the Bellevue Police if they treated either child during the last year.
"We do not expect any positive replies, but we have to try since it is an open door," said Terry.
Terry said that other than the one neighbor's statement to police, no one has seen Sky since last May.
"The only person who certainly should have seen Sky was Julia’s brother, Stan, but he has said nothing to us," said Terry.
Stan Biryukova has not responded to the Reporter's requests for an interview.
"Some people think that (Biryukova's father) from the Ukraine took the child back with him at the end of April," said Terry. "I tend not to believe that, because there are too many hoops to get through to get a child on a plane without all kinds of documents signed by parents."
Terry said that they do have evidence that Sky was in his mother's custody in April of 2011.
"It is possible to say that this case may have been cold before it was hot," said Terry.Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.