Details of Disappearance Sky was last seen in Bellevue, Washington on November 6, 2011. His mother, Julia V. Biryukova, said he got sick and she was driving him and his four-year-old sister to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in her brother's silver 1998 Acura when it ran out of gas in the 2600 block of 112th Avenue northeast.
Biryukova left Sky strapped in a car seat in the unlocked vehicle, took his sister and walked to a gas station a mile away for help. When she arrived, she didn't buy gas, but instead called a friend who dropped her off at the car about an hour after she'd left it. By this time, Sky was gone. He has never been heard from again.
An extensive search of the area turned up no indication of Sky's whereabouts. Authorities did find a toddler's shoe but later determined it wasn't his.
Biryukova did not have a gas can with her when she called the police at 9:50 a.m. to report her son's disappearance. Police learned that the car had not, in fact, run out of gas and had no mechanical problems. Witnesses said they'd seen the car between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. and there wasn't a child in it.
Biryukova refused to take a polygraph or speak directly to the police about her son's disappearance, communicating through an attorney instead. The rest of Sky's family members, including his father, Solomon S. Metalwala (also spelled "Salman"), cooperated with the investigation, and Solomon has been active in the search for Sky whereas Biryukova has not been.
The couple separated in 2010 and were in the process of a bitter divorce. Both sides accused the other of abuse and they sought protective orders against each other. Photographs of both Sky's parents are posted with this case summary.
In December 2009, while the Metalwalas was still married, they were cited for reckless endangerment for leaving Sky, then three months old, unattended in their car on a 27-degree day. They agreed to take parenting classes, do community service and spend a year on probation, and after they'd fulfilled these requirements the case was dismissed.
The court had forbidden Solomon to have any contact with his children and he hadn't seen either of them for almost a year before Sky disappeared. He claimed Biryukova suffered from long-standing mental health issues, including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, that caused her to neglect her children's needs and herself. She spent time as an inpatient in three mental health facilities.
Biryukova said Solomon had anger problems and was verbally and physically abusive to her. She also made multiple allegations that he had abused the children; they were later ruled unfounded.
Investigators learned no one besides Biryukova had seen Sky for at least two weeks before his disappearance, and possibly much longer than that, but it wasn't uncommon for her to isolate herself in her home with the children for extended time periods.
She also habitually left the children alone in the house, notably for eleven hours a few days before Sky's disappearance, while she went through a long mediation session regarding child custody. They agreed to let Biryukova have custody and give visitation rights to Solomon, but less than a day later Biryukova said she'd changed her mind.
In the aftermath of Sky's disappearance, his sister was taken into protective custody and placed in a foster home. His sister was too young to provide any statements useful to the investigation; she only said her brother had been in the car that morning.
Solomon was allowed supervised visitation with her and, after six weeks, got custody of his daughter. In March 2012, Solomon and Biryukova's divorce agreement was finalized. He got sole custody of both children and she had no visitation rights.
Following Sky's disappearance, Biryukova began seeing Alan J. Morgan and ultimately married him. Their relationship was troubled, there were incidents of domestic violence, and Morgan was jailed for violating a no-contact order against Biryukova. He continued to violate the order by making at least a dozen phone calls to her from jail.
In the summer of 2015, Biryukova gave birth to Morgan's son. Child Protective Services sought custody of the baby, alleging both Biryukova and Morgan are unfit parents.
Solomon believes Biryukova was responsible for their son's disappearance and thinks the custodial dispute has something to do with it. He stated he thought Biryukova might have given him to someone else to hide him.
Although no suspects have been named in Sky's case, the investigation has focused primarily on Biryukova due to the circumstances of the case and her lack of cooperation. She was born in Russia and has relatives outside the United States, and Solomon is from Pakistan, but authorities believe Sky is still somewhere in Washington state.
The circumstances of Sky's disappearance are very unclear and it's possible he went missing some time before his mother reported it. His case remains unsolved.
- Bellevue Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 26, 2020; age-progression updated.