Solomon Metalwala plans to distribute fliers all over Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland on Saturday in an effort to solicit tips for the Bellevue Police Department, which continues to look for his son, 2-year-old Sky Metalwala.
The Kirkland resident said Friday night that he's planning to meet up with volunteers at the Hyatt in Bellevue in the morning to help distribute 1,000 fliers with details about Sky and contact information for the police.
Metalwala told reporters outside FedEx Office in Bellevue that he hasn't seen Sky since last December because of custody issues. He said he remains hopeful that Sky will be found safe and returned.
Metalwala recalled Sky as a "typical boy" who likes to jump and roll around, and recounted helping him learn how to blow kisses.
Metalwala's estranged wife, Julia Biryukova, 30, on Sunday, Nov. 6, telling police she left Sky unattended in her car after she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue. Investigators they had found a "sufficient" amount of fuel in the vehicle to drive it for a considerable distance.
"My hope is that he's coming back. My strength is in my son," Metalwala said. On Nov. 2, shortly before Sky's disappearance, Metalwala and Biryukova completed mediation in which they agreed that Metalwala would begin to have visitation with Sky and the couple's 4-year-old daughter. Metalwala's attorney, Clay Terry, said the agreement provided for ramping up visitation from two days a week in the first two months--Wednesday afternoons and eight hours on Saturdays--to Wednesday afternoons plus weekends, to allow the children time to adjust.
Terry said that he and Metalwala had no reason on the day of the 12-hour mediation to question whether the two children were at home safe with an adult during that process, but that Biryukova had arrived late to the mediation, saying she had had a problem to take care of, and the fact that no one has come forward to say they had seen Sky in the two weeks prior to his disappearance is a concern.
Solomon submitted to a second polygraph test administered by the FBI Thursday, but he and his attorney declined to share the results. Terry said they will explain why later.
Metalwala expressed concern that Biryukova had not submitted to a polygraph, and says he has not been in contact with her since Sky's disappearance.
"Julia should help," he said.
Metalwala also expressed gratitude for the efforts of Bellevue Police, who said Friday afternoon that they will be keeping up their efforts to locate Sky throughout the weekend.
Maj. Mike Johnson told reporters that police continue to follow leads, but there have been no breakthroughs in the case. Johnson also said Bellevue Police plan additional efforts this weekend but declined to describe in advance what that would entail, saying only that they would be visible.
As of Friday afternoon police still hadn't heard directly from Biryukova, who they had asked through media channels to come to the department to talk with them.
"The police department is baffled by Julia's story, and we're frustrated by the lack of information from her," Johnson said.
Earlier in the day, Johnson said early Friday and said they found nothing wrong with the vehicle. Police also gathered data from the vehicle and will continue to keep it in secure storage until further notice, Johnson said.
Even though he has expressed doubts as to the credibility of Biryukova's story, Johnson emphasized that she is still not a suspect in the case.
“In order to make an arrest and develop probable cause and identify suspects and persons of interest, we need evidence," Johnson said. "At this point, we don’t have it.”
Despite the lack of answers in the case so far, Johnson emphasized the investigation is continuing, and said police are still working under the assumption that Sky is alive.
“The search and rescue teams, their dogs search for live scents and cadaver scent, and we haven’t had any indications of either," he said. "So it’s a missing person investigation.”
In the coming days, Johnson said investigators plan to conduct additional searches but said he could not specify where or when they would take place. He said investigators have fielded more than 330 tips, emails and phone calls since Sky's disappearance and have 150 local, state, county and federal law enforcement officials helping with the case.
Another press briefing is scheduled for 10:30 am Saturday. To read other stories from Patch's coverage of Sky Metalwala's disappearance, click here.
Sky Elijah Metalwala
Age 2, 2’10” tall, 39 pounds, black hair, brown eyes.
Sky was last seen on Nov. 6, 2011, in the 2600 block of 112th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, Wash.
He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black and aqua blue sweatpants and white socks.
Sky was in the silver 1998 Acura Integra three door coupe pictured when he disappeared.
Police ask anyone who was traveling Sunday morning along 112th Avenue Northeast, between State Route 520 and Northeast 24th Street, to please call the Bellevue Police tip line at 425-452-2564.