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Entries in Sky Metalwala (8)

Monday
Nov212011

Missing Toddler’s Mom Seemingly Speaks to ABC News via Email

Comstock/Thinkstock(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- The mother of missing toddler Sky Metalwala has not spoken publicly since her 2-year-old went missing on Nov. 6, but in an email exchange with ABC News, someone claiming to be Julia spoke out for the first time, lashing out at her estranged husband.

ABC News emailed an address confirmed by relatives to be that of Sky’s mother, Julia Biryukova. In the first exchange, she or someone else who was using the account responded to a request for comment by writing, “My former husband is a sadistic Muslim Pakistani. No one has any idea. This is all too difficult. Kindly, Julia.”

ABC News asked to hear more, and received the following response:

“My attorney has forbid me from speaking about the ongoing investigation. My former husband’s allegations are without merit. Solomon is deceptive.”

Her husband, Solomon Metalwala, is Pakistani, but not a Muslim. Police have said he cooperated with the investigation, whereas Biryukova refused to take a lie detector test.

Biryukova, who is going through a contentious custody battle with Metalwala, originally told police she ran out of gas and left Sky alone in her car while she walked to a gas station. Upon returning, she said, he was gone.

Police have questioned her account of how Sky disappeared. Investigators found enough gas in her car for her to have continued driving. And they didn’t find any mechanical problems that would have caused the car to stop functioning.

During the email exchange with ABC News, "Julia" responded “No” when asked, “Julia, please, do you have any idea where Sky is?”

“Prayers” and “faith” will help bring Sky home, Julia said. “I’m praying to Jesus on my knees night and day for my Sky.”

Upon seeing the emails, Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said, "Well obviously I can’t comment specifically on what value this might be.”

He added, "I’ll get it in the hands of investigators right away.”

Anyone, including the relatives Biryukova is staying with, could have accessed her email account, but Biryukova’s estranged husband Solomon Metalwala said the messages sound like her.

“Obviously she’s just trying to maybe get me kind of riled up,” he said. “The focus is to find Sky.”

During the email conversation, ABC News received responses to every question except one: what happened that morning if the car didn’t actually run out of gas?

It’s a question that continues to baffle investigators two weeks after Sky was reported missing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov202011

‘Something of Interest’ Found in Sky Metalwala Search

Bellevue Police(KIRKLAND, Wash.) -- Police hunting for Sky Metalwala, the toddler whose mother said the boy disappeared after she left him alone in her disabled car, found what they described as “something of interest” in their most recent search.

The items were found Saturday in a Kirkland, Wash., park, shortly after police released new photos of Sky and his mother, Julia Biryukova of Redmond, in hopes of getting new tips to what happened to the boy.

ABC affilitate KOMO-TV in Seattle reported that police are not yet sure whether the items are related to the case, but have sent them for analysis. One of the items was important enough for police to call in a forensics team, according to KOMO.

“They found something of interest,” said Carla Iafrate of the Bellevue Police Department. “We called out our CSI investigators, they showed up and looked at the items.”

But she cautioned against reading anything into the fact that search teams were seen using rakes and shovels as they worked into the night at heavily wooded Watershed Park.

In the photos released Saturday, Biryukova is shown standing alone in a store, wearing the same gray sweat suit she wore on Nov. 6 when she told police that she left Sky in her stalled, unlocked car for an hour while she walked a mile to buy fuel at a gas station.

When Biryukova returned, the boy was gone, she told police, who also said that Biryukova has refused their request to interview her regarding her child’s disappearance.

At least for now, authorities have opted against arresting Biryukova for not cooperating with an investigation that has included searching the areas around his home and the locale where she said the boy vanished.

Police said Friday that they’ve checked all but a dozen of the roughly 1,200 tips that residents called in about the case but none have panned out.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov192011

Police Release Clearer Photos of Missing Wash. Toddler

Bellevue Police(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Police in Bellevue Wash. this week released new photos of a two-year-old boy who disappeared earlier this month in hopes that it will prompt more substantive leads and information.

Sky Metalwala has been missing since Nov. 6.

Mike Johnson, a spokesman for the police department in Bellevue, Wash., told KOMO, ABC's Seattle, Wash., affiliate station, that they released the additional photos because they more accurately depict what the mother and child looked like on the day Sky disappeared.

The new photos of the boy show him after a recent haircut.

Other additional pictures include surveillance photos of Sky's mother, Julia Biryukova, 30.

She is shown standing alone in a store, wearing the same gray sweat suit she wore on Nov. 6 when she told police that she left Sky Metalwala in her stalled, unlocked car for an hour while she walked a mile to buy fuel at a gas station.

When Biryukova returned, the boy was gone, she told police, who also said that Biryukova has refused their request to interview her regarding her child's disappearance.

At least for now, authorities have opted against arresting Biryukova for not cooperating with an investigation that has included searching the areas around his home and the locale where she said the boy vanished.

Police said Friday that they've checked all but a dozen of the roughly 1,200 tips that residents called in about the case but none have panned out.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Police 'Watching' Sky Metalwala's Mom as Possible Flight Risk

Bellevue Police(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Washington police investigating the disappearance of 2-year-old Sky Metalwala said they are keeping an eye on the boy's mother in case she tries to leave the country.

Sky was last seen on Nov. 6 while in the custody of his mother, Julia Biryukova, a Ukranian woman who emigrated from Russia when she was 12.

Police in Bellevue, Wash., have been openly skeptical of Biryukova's story that she was driving her two children to a hospital when she ran out of gas.  She allegedly walked with her 4-year-old daughter to a gas station, but when she returned to her car Sky was gone.

"We're not comfortable calling her a person of interest or a suspect.  So I suppose if she did intend to make travel plans it would be something we'd want to know about and discuss with her," Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said Monday.

"It is something that's on our radar.  We're watching for that," Johnson said.

The officer also did not rule out a theory that Biryukova, who is in a bitter custody battle with her husband Solomon, may be trying to smuggle her son out of the country.

"There's a lot of work going on to rule out possible theories of abduction, coercion, the element of custody battle between mom and dad, secreting him outside the country, all of these are viable theories," Johnson said.

Solomon Metalwala said Monday on ABC's Good Morning America that he believes the boy's disappearance is related to a court decision granting him visitation rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

Sky Metalawala: Police Expand Search for Washington Boy

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Authorities and volunteers are expanding their search efforts Sunday for a 2-year-old boy from Washington who has been missing for a week.

Police said they are doubling back on their earlier work and retracing their steps to find Sky Metalwala.

Without any significant leads, police are growing doubtful that they'll find the boy alive.

"Every hour that passes, this case becomes more and more disappointing for us that we haven't found something to lead to his discovery yet," Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said.

K-9 units have covered the ground, hoping to pick up the scent of the missing toddler as dive teams combed the waters, looking for any clues.

On Saturday, police scoured a park near the apartment complex where Sky lived with his mother, Julia Biryukova.

Biryukova told police earlier that she left Sky alone in her car after she ran out of gas and walked off for help. When she returned to her silver Acura SUV, the child was gone, she told police.

According to police, Biryukova did walk to the Northtowne Chevron Service, but she never bought gas there, police said.

Instead, she spent time walking around a wealthy neighborhood where she reportedly didn't ask anyone for help, officials said.

When detectives checked to see how much gas was left in her car, they found enough for her to have continued driving.

Investigators took her car for a test drive, to see if it had any mechanical problems that would have forced her to leave it on the side of the road.

Police said they are now convinced it didn't have engine trouble and there was plenty of gas in the tank.

"I'll let the evidence speak to itself, which is there was gas in the car and was able to drive and operate. That's not what Julia told us," Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said.

Police said that after Biryukova visited the gas station she called a friend who picked her up and took her back to her two-door silver Acura, where they allegedly discovered the boy was missing.

Sky's father, Solomon Metalwala, said Wednesday that he thinks Biryukova is connected with his son's disappearance.

Metalwala has agreed to take two polygraph tests, but Biryukova has refused to be tested, telling investigators that she has been too disturbed to participate.

Police have made a public appeal for Biryukova's cooperation, and have also asked the public to help.

Biryukova's attorney declined requests for comment to ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov122011

Sky Metalwala: Father Pleads for Help in Search of Missing Son

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(REDMOND, Wash.) -- The father of missing 2-year-old boy, Sky Metalwala, said he plans to work with volunteers today to pass out flyers with his son's picture on them.

Overnight, Solomon Metalwala met with reporters to plead for help in finding his son, who has now been missing for nearly a week.

"My hope is that he's coming back and that's where I find my strength that he's going to come back," he said.

Sky's mother, Julia Biryukova, claims she left Sky alone in her car after she ran out of gas and walked off for help.

Solomon Metalwala said Wednesday that he thinks Biryukova is connected with his son's disappearance.

"I do believe that Julia has a, she's responsible …," Solomon Metalwala said speaking of Biryukova. "It's sad. Because if she can just cooperate, we can find where, where is our son."

He also talked about a strange dream his wife had and which she related to him.

"In this dream she, she was strangling Sky," he said. "And it was very alarming."

Biryukova told detectives in Bellevue, Wash., that she was driving her two children to Overlake Hospital Medical Center Sunday morning because her youngest child, Sky, wasn't feeling well.

She said she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue, so she left Sky in the car while she and her 4-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.

Investigators have serious questions about Biryukova's story.

They say her account doesn't add up, and also say it's remarkably similar to an episode of the TV series "Law and Order." The episode, which police say is "strikingly similar in nature" to Biryukova's story, centered on a mother who tries to cover up the death of her child by saying he was taken from her car.

That detail also alarms Solomon Metalwala.

According to police, Biryukova did walk to the Northtowne Chevron Service on Sunday, but she never bought gas there, police said.

Instead, she spent time walking around a wealthy neighborhood where she reportedly didn't ask anyone for help, officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov082011

Mother of Missing Toddler Refuses Lie Detector Test: Police

Bellevue Police

(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Julia Biryukova, the mother of the 2-year-old toddler who went missing Sunday in Bellevue, Wash., has refused to take a lie detector test.

Police made the announcement Tuesday as detectives began focusing their search on the area surrounding her Redmond apartment.

Biryukova told police she was driving her two children to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue because her younger child, Sky Metalwala, wasn't feeling well. She said she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue, a two-way street that borders Interstate 520, so she and her 4-year-old daughter trekked about a mile to a nearby gas station, Northtowne Chevron Service, leaving Sky in the car.

Police said she then called a friend, who took her to her car about an hour later. But when they returned to the two-door silver Acura, Biryukova said, the boy was gone.

"We continue to invite her to take a polygraph and as of yet she has not taken one," said Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate, adding that Sky's mother did allow police to search her car and the inside of her home.

Biryukova is allegedly in the middle of a difficult divorce with her husband, Solomon Metalwala. He hasn't seen either of his two children in "several months," police said. Metalwala took a polygraph test Monday, but the results were inconclusive, something Iafrate said is "not unusual." He volunteered to take another test Tuesday.

Clay Terry, one of the attorneys representing Metalwala, was not immediately available for comment. But he told ABC News affiliate KOMO that his client is "exhausted" and hadn't slept much since his son disappeared.

The father of two has kept out of the spotlight, making one brief, soft-spoken public statement to reporters Monday outside his lawyer's office, saying, "Please just return him back, like I just said to the police officers, the hospitals and the fire department. Please."

Police have emphasized they aren't naming any suspects yet, but they do suspect "foul play."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov072011

Update: Missing Washington Toddler’s Father Charged in 2009

Bellevue Police(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Solomon Metalwala, the father of missing 2-year-old Sky Metalwala, was charged with leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle in 2009, Redmond, Wash., prosecuting attorney Larry Mitchell told ABCNews.com Monday.

The FBI joined the search for the toddler who has been missing since Sunday morning after his mother, Julia Biryukova of Redmond, said she left him alone for an hour in an unlocked car in Bellevue, Wash.

Biryukova told police she was driving with her two children when she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue, a two way street that borders Interstate 520. So she and her 4-year-old trekked about a mile to a nearby gas station, Northtowne Chevron Service, leaving Sky in the car, she said.

Police said she then called a friend who dropped her off at her car about an hour later. But when they returned to the 2-door silver Acura, Biryukova said, the boy was gone.

There was no sign of forced entry, according to police, who stopped searching the wooded area near the car Sunday.

A gas can wasn't found in Biryukova's car, a detail that "could mean a lot of things," Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate told ABCNews.com.

They are now searching the area near Biryukova's home.

"Currently, we're searching in the area around the mother's apartment. Since the last time she saw the child was in her car and [prior to that she] was in her apartment," Iafrate said.

Police said family member have been cooperating with investigators.

Solomon Metalwala, a Kirkland, Wash., resident, pleaded guilty to leaving a child unattended in 2010 after a December 2009 incident in which Sky, who was 3 months old at the time, was discovered sitting alone in the couple's car in a Target parking lot.

"A citizen noticed and had called the police," prosecutor Mitchell said. "They eventually made contact with the mother and father who were in the store shopping. There was some discussion about leaving the child unattended."

Solomon Metalwala paid a fine, did 40 hours of community service and completed a parenting class, so the case was dismissed in February of this year.

The child's uncle, Sam Metalwala, told ABC affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle the boy's parents are going through a divorce after being married for seven years. And for now, all the family can do is hope for a new lead.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio