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November 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Bellevue police plan briefing on missing boy case

Sky Metalwala

Sky Metalwala

Bellevue police have scheduled a briefing for 3:30 this afternoon to update the media on the investigation into the Nov. 6 disappearance of Sky Metalwala.

Police have been holding regular briefings on the case, although they did not hold briefings on Wednesday or Thursday. It’s unclear whether there are any new developments in the case, although some media outlets reported police yesterday apparently took a drive in the car in which the boy was reportedly last seen.

The case has baffled police from the start, as much because of the actions of Sky’s mother as the circumstances surrounding her son’s disappearance.

Julia Biryukova, a 30-year-old mother of two, told police she was driving Sky from their Redmond home to a Bellevue hospital on the morning of Nov. 6 because the boy was sick. She said the car ran out of gas in Bellevue, so she left the sleeping toddler in the unlocked car and walked with her 4-year-old daughter to a gas station.

When she returned, Sky was gone, she said.

An examination of the Acura Integra revealed there was still enough gas in the car “to run a significant distance,” according to Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson. The car, which belongs to Biryukova’s brother, also had no obvious mechanical defects, he said.

“We believe there’s something suspicious afoot here,” Johnson declared after the car was tested last week. “The story doesn’t add up.”

Police also questioned why Biryukova would leave Sky in the car, especially after she was cited, along with her husband, for leaving the boy in a car for nearly an hour in a store parking lot in 2009.

Looking for any clues to the disapperance, investigators even pored over an episode of the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which aired the night before Biryukova reported Sky missing. Johnson said there were similarities between the episode’s plot line and Biryukova’s version of events.

The episode centered on a young couple whose car is stolen on Halloween with their toddler son inside. The child’s body is eventually found buried and the husband and wife each individually confess to killing the baby. It later turned out the child died from natural causes and each parent confessed to killing the child to protect the other.

The show was reportedly one of Biryukova’s favorites.

Biryukova and her estranged husband, Solomon Metalwala, were involved in a contentious custody battle before hammering out a tentative agreement the week before Sky disappeared. The agreement would have allowed Metalwala to have visitation with Sky and their daughter, Maile, according to his attorney, Leslie Clay Terry III.

However, just days before Sky disappeared, Biryukova said she wanted to back out of the agreement, Terry said.

Earlier this week, police indicated they may shift the focus of the investigation from a missing persons case to a criminal case.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bellevue, Bellevue Police, Redmond

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