Police hunting for Sky Metalwala, the toddler whose mother said the boy disappeared after she left him alone in her disabled car, found what they described as “something of interest” in their most recent search.
The items were found Saturday in a Kirkland, Wash., park, shortly after police released new photos of Sky and his mother, Julia Biryukova of Redmond, in hopes of getting new tips to what happened to the boy.
ABC affilitate KOMO-TV in Seattle reported that police are not yet sure whether the items are related to the case, but have sent them for analysis. One of the items was important enough for police to call in a forensics team, according to KOMO.
“They found something of interest,” said Carla Iafrate of the Bellevue Police Department. “We called out our CSI investigators, they showed up and looked at the items.”
But she cautioned against reading anything into the fact that search teams were seen using rakes and shovels as they worked into the night at heavily wooded Watershed Park.
“I think that’s just standard equipment for any search and rescue,” said Iafrate. “There’s a lot of leaves, it’s pretty wet and damp. There’s a lot of rabbit burrows, so the land is soft back there.”
In the photos released Saturday, Biryukova is shown standing alone in a store, wearing the same gray sweat suit she wore on Nov. 6 when she told police that she left Sky in her stalled, unlocked car for an hour while she walked a mile to buy fuel at a gas station.
When Biryukova returned, the boy was gone, she told police, who also said that Biryukova has refused their request to interview her regarding her child’s disappearance.
At least for now, authorities have opted against arresting Biryukova for not cooperating with an investigation that has included searching the areas around his home and the locale where she said the boy vanished.
Police said Friday that they’ve checked all but a dozen of the roughly 1,200 tips that residents called in about the case but none have panned out.