Police hope new efforts this weekend will help with search for missing 2-year-old Redmond boy

Investigators searching for a missing 2-year-old Redmond boy will explore new efforts this Veterans Day weekend that they hope may yield more answers.

Sky Metalwala

Investigators searching for a missing 2-year-old Redmond boy will explore new efforts this Veterans Day weekend that they hope may yield more answers.

Bellevue Police Maj. Mike Johnson said investigators still have not sharpened their focus on the case.

“However, there’s some activity this weekend that you’ll know about when it’s time that will hopefully give us more of those answers and will help us cross off some more of those things on our check list,” said Johnson at a press conference Friday afternoon at Bellevue City Hall.

He noted officials will be extending their investigative efforts “out in the communities surrounding this incident” over the weekend. He would not say specifically what that activity will be.

So far, he said, investigators have crossed nothing off the “long list” of possibilities as they continue to search every angle for Sky Metalwala.

The 2-year-old reportedly went missing on Sunday morning in Bellevue when his mother’s Acura Integra ran out of gas. Julia Biryukova, of Redmond, left her son in the car and took her 4-year-old daughter with her to a gas station, where she called a friend to pick her up.

The boy was gone when they returned to the car in the 2400 block of 112th Avenue Northeast, Biryukova told police when she reported her son missing.

Police this week found the car had enough gas in it to run for a significant amount of time, and technicians test drove the car around midnight on Thursday. Johnson noted the vehicle operated just fine.

“That’s not what Julia told us,” said Johnson, adding the evidence speaks for itself.

Police have noted they are baffled by Biryukova’s story and are frustrated with the lack of information they are receiving from her.

She has answered investigators’ questions through her attorney and has declined requests to take a polygraph exam.  Investigators haven’t spoken to her since the night of her son’s disappearance.

However, Biryukova still has not been named a suspect or person of interest in the case, Johnson said.

One theory police may later examine is if Sky’s disappearance was a “spiteful act” by the mother, as the boy’s disappearance came at the height of a custody fight between Biryukova and the boy’s father, Solomon Metalwala. The two have both accused each other of posing a threat to their children, according to court documents.

“This is certainly a theory that we’re going to look at when the timing is right,” said Johnson. “But at this point we think Sky is a missing person.”

Solomon, who lives in Kirkland and plans to post flyers around the Eastside this weekend in hopes to find his son, took a second polygraph on Thursday after his first one was deemed inconclusive. But Johnson declined to release the results of the second lie-detector test.

Investigators have ruled out a couple leads on the case, including a $25,000 ransom note emailed to Sky’s family that police say was “not credible.”

Police also used a search-and-rescue dog on Biryukova’s downtown Redmond apartment that didn’t uncover any “powerful investigative leads,” said Johnson.

In addition, officials determined that a toddler shoe found Thursday near the site where Sky went missing did not belong to him.

Johnson said investigators’ highest priority right now is narrowing down the two-week window between the last time that anyone saw Sky and when he went missing.

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