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Police in Washington State Expand Week-Old Search for Missing 2-Year-Old Boy

3:20 PM, Nov 14, 2011   |    comments
Sky Metalwala
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The search for a 2-year-old boy who went missing in suburban Seattle more than a week ago continued Monday with no new suspects or information in the case, Bellevue, Washington, police said.

Maj. Mike Johnson said his department had received 900 tips in the boy's disappearance, but none "have led to any high-priority actionable item." Despite receiving no new details in the investigation, Johnson urged the public to continue to providing information in the case.

"All theories are viable, " Johnson said until "we can start putting some of the missing pieces of this puzzle together."

Over the weekend, Johnson said police expanded the search radius at the apartment in Redmond where toddler Sky Metalwala lived with his mother, Julia Biryukova, and the wooded area where she told police she saw her son last nine days ago.

The brown-eyed boy with short, dark hair was last seen wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt and blue-and-gray-striped pants.

On Friday, Johnson said the police were "frustrated by the lack of information we're getting" from the missing boy's mother. According to Johnson, Biryukova initially reported that she'd run out of gas early on the morning of November 6 in Bellevue, just east of Seattle, leaving the toddler in the car while she took her 4-year-old with her to get help.

Police later determined that the car had gas and was working.

"I'll let the evidence speak for itself, which is: There was gas in the car, the car was able to drive and operate," Johnson said. "That's not what Julia told us."

But on Monday, Johnson told reporters the boy's mother "continues to cooperate" and that he "was not comfortable calling her a person of interest or a suspect."

"Until we have evidence to support one more than the other, we have to keep our minds open," Johnson said of the various possibilities that could explain Sky's disappearance. "Nothing has been crossed off the list."

Other than the boy's mother and his 4-year-old sister, no one has reported seeing the toddler in the past two weeks, police spokeswoman Carla Lafrate said last week.

Attorneys for Biryukova have declined to comment to CNN about the case, citing the ongoing investigation. Repeated attempts to reach Biryukova by CNN affiliates in the Bellevue area have been unsuccessful.

The father, Solomon Metalwala, who is separated from Biryukova, has taken polygraph tests, said Sgt. Seth Tyler of the Bellevue Police Department. Results from the first polygraph test taken last Monday by Metalwala were inconclusive, according to Bellevue police Sgt. Seth Tyler. Johnson said Friday he was "not going to talk about the results of the second polygraph test."

The boy's parents, who separated last year, have had a tumultuous relationship, according to court records.

Biryukova has said she feared for her safety and that of her children around Metalwala, according to records.

"I am told by my husband Solomon (and) his family that if I take any action towards custody of our children he will take them out of the country (and) I will never see them again," she wrote in court papers.

Metalwala responded, in court filings, that his wife suffered from mental health problems and was unable to care for the children on her own.

Both parents were charged in 2009 with reckless endangerment for leaving then 3-month-old Sky alone in their parked car. Court records show they completed court-ordered parenting courses following the incident.



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