A small crowd of people gathered in downtown Redmond on Saturday evening to mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Sky Metalwala.
The 40 or so people who attended offered prayers and song for the the toddler's return and released baby-blue balloons in his honor at the new downtown Redmond park.
Solomon Metalwala, Sky's father, said he is not giving up hope that his son would be found.
"I'm a believer," said Metalwala, a Kirkland resident. "I'm going to keep hoping until he gets home." Asked specifically whether he believes his son is still alive, Metalwala offered a simple response: "Amen. Yes."
Sky, 2 years old at the time of his disappearance, was reported missing on Nov. 6, 2011, by his mother Julia Biryukova. Biryukova, who lived in Redmond with her two children and was embroiled in a child custody dispute with her ex-husband, Solomon Metalwala, told police that she left Sky in her car parked on the side of the road in Bellevue while she went to get gas.
Bellevue Police, the agency overseeing the investigation, issued a statement earlier this week saying the case "is still open and active." Anyone who might have information about the toddler's disappearance is asked to email email@example.com or call 911.
Although some in the community are frustrated police have not made an arrest in the case, Metalwala said he believes investigators are doing all that they can and asked that others remain supportive of their efforts.
"It's teamwork—we all need each other," he said.
Several people held handmade signs at the corner of Redmond Way and 161st Avenue Northeast, including Melinda Wolf, who drove all the way from Port Orchard with her two children.
"My heart bleeds for Solomon," said Wolf, whose son is a year older than Sky. "It just breaks my heart; I can't even imagine that happening."
Metalwala thanked those who attended for their support and asked that they pray for Biryukova to "not have any more fear." He said the boy's mother and her family and friends have still not offered very much information about the circumstances surrounding Sky's disappearance.
After Sky was reported missing, Solomon Metalwala won sole custody of their young daughter, Maile, now a kindergartener. Metalwala said his daughter is doing well but has not forgotten about her brother.
"She misses Sky every day," he said. "We talk about him every day."
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For more coverage of the Sky Metalwala search on .