Authorities determined Wednesday that Julia Biryukova’s Acura did not run out of gas Sunday morning – she could have continued driving for “a considerable distance.” Police had planned to take the vehicle on a test drive to rule out any other mechanical problems Thursday. And though I have yet to find any additional information on said mechanical inspection, I’d be willing to bet the car ran just fine.
Police say Julia was on her way to the hospital that morning because Sky hadn’t been feeling well. Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said an email Julia sent to a friend Sunday morning is the only evidence police have that Sky was ill. He also said Julia would have had a helluva time buying gas or getting Sky treated…she left her cellphone, purse, wallet and identification at home that morning.
An FBI agent with expertise interviewing children has spoken to Maile, Sky’s older sister, and the little girl said her brother was in the car, wrapped in a blanket, on Sunday, “which wasn’t what we expected to hear,” Johnson said. Search-and-rescue dogs found Sky’s scent in the car but not in the surrounding area.
In other developments, Sky’s father, Solomon Metalwala, has been interviewed by police and has volunteered to take a second polygraph test after the first was deemed inconclusive due to fatigue and stress. And though she is cooperating with law enforcement officials, answering their questions through her attorney, Julia has declined to take a polygraph test.
Many people have said Sky’s disappearance is strikingly similar to an episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” that aired Saturday. The episode apparently centered on a young couple whose car was stolen, with their infant son in the backseat, outside of a convenience store on Halloween. The child’s body was eventually found buried and the husband and wife each individually confessed to killing the baby. Turns out the child died from natural causes and each parent confessed to killing the child to protect the other.
And if you have been following the comments in the previous article, you are already aware that this isn’t the first time Sky had been left alone in a vehicle. Both Julia and Solomon were cited back in 2009 after leaving him in their SUV in a Target parking lot for 55 minutes in 27-degree weather. Facing charges of reckless endangerment, the case against the pair was dismissed earlier this year after they both completed a year of probation, 40 hours of community service and a 10-week parenting class.
You are probably also aware of the bitter divorce the two were going through and how each describes the other as an unfit parent – Solomon because he’s abusive, Julia because she’s a nutjob.
Just last week, police say Julia and Solomon attended a “grueling” 12 hour mediation session in which both parties reached a tentative agreement that would allow Solomon to have more visitation with Sky and Maile. Julia backed out of the agreement just two days before Sky poofed. She later admitted to police that both children were left alone at her apartment during that mediation. There is some concern that Sky could have become dehydrated during that time period.
As for the 4-year-old, she’s in a foster home at the moment…she was taken into protective custody shortly after Sky disappeared. Court commissioner Elizabeth Castilleja denied Julia’s request for supervised visitation after authorities argued that she might exert influence over her daughter’s recollection of her brother’s disappearance.
Julia has not been named a suspect in the case, nor is she considered a person of interest at this point.
“We want to believe Julia,” said Johnson. “We want to help her find her missing child, and we want her cooperation to do that. And at this point, the information that she’s given us has been problematic and has created more questions than answers.”Tags: Julia Biryukova, Missing child, Sky Metalwala, Solomon Metalwala, Washington