Mother of Missing Child Refuses Polygraph Test

Toddler Sky Metalwala has been missing since Sunday.

ByABC News
November 8, 2011, 5:04 PM

Nov. 8, 2011— -- Julia Biryukova, mother of the 2-year-old toddler who went missing Sunday in Bellevue, Wash., has refused to take a lie detector test, police said today, and detectives are focusing their search on the area surrounding her Redmond apartment.

Biryukova told police she was driving her two children to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue because her younger child, Sky Metalwala, wasn't feeling well. She said she ran out of gas on 112th Avenue, a two-way street that borders Interstate 520, so she and her 4-year-old daughter trekked about a mile to a nearby gas station, Northtowne Chevron Service, leaving Sky in the car.

Police said she then called a friend, who took her to her car about an hour later. But when they returned to the two-door silver Acura, Biryukova said, the boy was gone.

"We continue to invite her to take a polygraph and as of yet she has not taken one," said Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate, adding that Sky's mother did allow police to search her car and the inside of her home.

Biryukova is in the middle of a difficult divorce with her husband, Solomon Metalwala. He hasn't seen either of his two children in "several months," police said. Metalwala took a polygraph test Monday, but the results were inconclusive, something Iafrate said is "not unusual." He volunteered to take another test today.

Clay Terry, one of the attorneys representing Metalwala, was not immediately available for comment. But he told ABC News affiliate KOMO that his client is "exhausted" and hadn't slept much since his son disappeared.

The father of two has kept out of the spotlight, making one brief, soft-spoken public statement to reporters Monday outside his lawyer's office, saying, "Please just return him back, like I just said to the police officers, the hospitals and the fire department. Please."

Police have emphasized they aren't naming any suspects yet, but they do suspect "foul play."

"It's been over 48 hours and there's been nobody coming forward telling us where Sky is, so obviously foul play is under consideration here," Iafrate said.

So far, she said, family members have been cooperating with investigators.

According to The Associated Press, the couple had been together for 14 years. They married in 2003 and separated in 2010, the same year Biryukova, 30, filed for an order of protection for herself and her children, the AP reported. He was charged with leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle in 2009, in Redmond, Wash., a case that was eventually dismissed after he completed mandatory community service, paid a fine and completed a parenting class.

The Search for Sky Metalwala: Mother's Story Raises Questions

For now, more than 35 detectives from Bellevue, Redmond and the FBI are concentrating on the area surrounding the mother's home.

"We're going to search everything around the area of her home because that's the last place Sky was prior to being in the car," said Iafrate today.

They are also doing forensic work on Biryukova's car, and removing the gas tank to find out how much gas it contains.

Biryukova, who lives in Redmond, could have driven her son to a hospital closer to her home, Iafrate said, but instead felt more comfortable going to the hospital in Overlake.