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November 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Police: Mother's refusal of polygraph 'looks suspicious'

Bellevue police plan today to examine the car driven by a Julia Biryukova, who said her 2-year-old son disappeared Sunday morning after she left him in her disabled car.

Biryukova said the car ran out of gas while she was driving her son from their Redmond home to a Bellevue hospital. She said she walked with her 4-year-old daughter to a gas station about a mile away to retrieve gas, leaving her son sleeping in his car seat. When she returned, she said her son, Sky Metalwala, was gone.

Police later said the car started when checked by officers and police did not find a gas can nearby.

During a media briefing this morning, Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said police plan to “very thoroughly” examine her car today. That will likely include a check of the gas tank to determine whether it ran out of gas or experienced some other problem.

He said if the examination of the Acura Integra contradicts Biryukova’s story police plan to question her.

Johnson said police also plan to administer polygraphs to “people closest to Julia and Sky.” He said the boy’s father, Solomon Metawala, will take a polygraph today. He said the father has thus far “cooperated fully.”

Johnson said Biryukova’s refusal to take a polygraph examination “looks suspicious.”

He also characterized her story as suspicious. “You’re on the way to the hospital, why would you leave your kid in the car? It certainly is suspicious,” Johnson said.

He said police also plan to use DNA swabs to eliminate possible suspects. They plan to use the swabs of Biryukova’s car and apartment to determine who may have come in  contact with Sky.

John said police have a lot of leads to follow, although he added that none of the leads were “hot.”

“The people who are closest to Sky and Julia are the people who know what happened to Sky,” Johnson said during the briefing.

Police plan another media briefing this afternoon.

Meanwhile, a court hearing this morning in Kent to determine temporary placement of Biryukova’s 4-year-old daughter, Maile, has been delayed and could be rescheduled for another day. The daughter was taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services on Sunday after her brother went missing.

The hearing was held in Juvenile Dependency Court at the Regional Justice Center.

The matter could have been resolved in the hallway, as the mother’s attorney, Veronica Freitas, agreed that the child should be placed temporarily with her father’s family.

But the case social worker said that wasn’t possible as Child Protective Services had not performed the required background checks on Metalwala’s family.

“Why haven’t you done that yet?” said Freitas. “It’s been three days.”

The social worker had no real answer.

Freitas, who said Biryukova would not be appearing in court today, said she will be contesting the recommendation by police that her client have no visits with the child.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bellevue, Bellevue Police, missing person


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