(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The father of a Washington toddler missing for more than one week said Monday he believes the boy’s disappearance is related to a court decision granting him visitation rights.
Solomon Metalwala, the father of missing toddler Sky Metalwala, has previously said that he believes his wife Julia Birkyukova knows what happened to the 2-year-old boy.
Solomon and Biryukova have been locked in a bitter divorce, but in the week before Sky disappeared, the parents reached a tentative agreement that would allow Metalwala to have some visitation with the couple’s two children.
But two days later -- and two days before she reported her son missing -- Biryukova decided to pull out of the agreement, according to published reports.
In a letter sent by her attorney, Biryukova insisted that everyone at the mediation session had been against her and the settlement was unfair, according to Metalwala’s divorce attorney, D. Michael Tomkins.
“Sadly to say, yes,” Solomon Metalwala said today when asked on “GMA” if he believes Sky’s disappearance is related to the custody battle between him and his wife.
“She needs to help and I’m praying that she will,” he said.
“She has had Sky for the last 10 months so I believe that she does know something,” the husband said Monday on Good Morning America.
Sky Metalwala was last seen Nov. 6 while in the custody of Birkyukova. Biryukova told detectives in Bellevue, Wash., that she was driving her two children, Sky and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, to Overlake Hospital Medical Center Sunday morning because Sky wasn’t feeling well.
She said she ran out of gas, so she left Sky in the car while she and her four-year-old daughter walked about a mile away to a gas station. When she returned to her silver Acura SUV, the child was gone, she told police.
A team of more than 150 local and state police and FBI agents have been working on the case for the past week, sorting through leads coming from hundreds of miles away, to no avail.
Both Metalwala and Biryukova were cited for reckless endangerment in a December 2009 incident in which a then 3-month-old Sky was left in the family’s SUV in a Target parking lot for 55 minutes on a 27-degree day, court records showed.
The case was dismissed earlier this year after the pair completed a year of probation, 40 hours of community service and a ten-week parenting class.
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