Not a day goes by that Solomon Metalwala doesn’t think or talk about his son, Sky, who disappeared two years ago this week.
“To me it’s like it happened yesterday. I live it every day.”
On Nov 6th, 2011, Sky’s mother, Julia Biryukova, told police her car ran out of gas in the 2600 block of 112th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue, and she walked with her daughter to get help, leaving the 2-year-old alone in his car seat.
Biryukova told police when she returned, Sky was gone. She refused to cooperate with police and to this day has not spoken with authorities further or done anything to aid in the investigation. She was never charged with a crime in connection with the disappearance.
On Monday, Bellevue Police issued a statement saying that “all leads to date have been exhausted,” but there continues to be detectives assigned to the case and any new leads will be followed up on “immediately.”
Solomon Metalwala told KIRO Radio Monday he still hopes to find him. He also works to raise awareness for other Missing and Exploited Children.
“I do have another child. My daughter. And she needs a 100-percent father,” Metalwala said. “I have to take care of her and make sure she’s doing well, and I have to be a 100-percent dad to Sky. I have to do both.”
Maile Metalwala’s 7th birthday is coming up in December. She is in first grade.
“We talk about him like we would (if) he was still with us. I think that is the best therapy for both of us. We need to honor and recognize that he is still in the Metalwala family.”
But Solomon admits it is hard to talk about what happened with his daughter.
“We don’t know what happened. We can all make assumptions…But I don’t have the truth to tell her. I don’t know the truth yet.”
Biryukova stopped attending custody hearings for Maile, and a judge gave full parental rights to Solomon.
“If Julia wants to see her, Julia needs to go to court,” Solomon said.
Solomon pointed out that for the year before Sky went missing, Julia had full custody of both children, and he was not allowed to see them for some months.
“I don’t know what Julia was doing for that one year that I wasn’t involved in their lives. I don’t know who she met or what,” he explained. “It’s a big mystery. I have no idea.”
Metalwala did have a message to send to Julia:
“I would just like to tell her that whatever happened between us, it should have (stayed) between us… (Our kids) are just innocent. They don’t need to be involved in this,” he said.
“If she had something so drastic to do, she should have done it to me.”
Bellevue Police have not said whether any criminal charges, like child endangerment, could be brought against Julia Biryukova.
“I would like to see some charges happen. But they see all the evidence,” said Solomon.
Despite criticism of the way they handled the case, Metalwala said he wants to see the public support the Bellevue Police Department. “I think there should be more of an encouragement to do their job, rather than bashing on them.”
To date, investigators have pursued over 2,200 tips and leads in this case, however Sky remains missing. The investigation continues to be a joint investigation of the Bellevue and Redmond police departments. Investigators continue to seek the public’s help in locating Sky.
“All leads to date have been exhausted. Any new lead that comes to us is followed up immediately,” said Major Pat Spak, Commander of Investigations at the Bellevue Police Department, in a statement. “We want to find this child.”
Metalwala said he and his attorney continue considering a civil case against Biryukova.