You’ve probably heard about Sky Metalwala, the 2-year-old boy who was reported missing in Bellevue, Washington on Sunday morning. This has been a very big local story (I live in Bellevue), and it just keeps getting weirder and sadder and I cannot stop thinking about it.

Sky’s mother, Julia Biryukova, told police her car ran out of gas while she was driving her ill son from their Redmond home to Bellevue’s Overlake hospital on Sunday morning. She said she took her 4-year-old daughter and walked to to a gas station about a mile away, leaving Sky sleeping in his car seat in the unlocked car. When she returned more than an hour later, she said Sky was gone.

Her story sounded bizarre from the start—who would leave a 2-year-old alone in a car? A sick 2-year-old, at that?—but oh, man, that was just the start of how fucked-up this whole thing is.

It turns out Sky’s parents have been embroiled in a bitter divorce/custody battle, culminating in 11 hours of mediation which granted Biryukova custody of the children. This compromise happened only four days before Sky’s disappearance. In the past, each of the parents has filed for protective orders against the other, and each has had custody of the two children at times.

Biryukova has been committed to three mental health facilities beginning in March 2010. A psych eval deemed her “not psychotic,” although her husband Solomon Metalwala said she was mentally ill and had dreams about killing the couple’s children. For her part, Biryukova has accused Metalwala of domestic violence, claiming he assaulted her in front of the children in December 2009.

The father took a polygraph test Monday night that came back inconclusive, the mother refuses to take one.

Police are saying they have talked to only one person, a neighbor of Biryukova’s, who reported seeing Sky in the past two weeks. No one else, aside from Biryukova and the four-year-old daughter, has come forward to say they saw Sky in that time.

And if all that isn’t upsetting enough, it turns out both parents were charged with reckless endangerment in 2009 after they left Sky in their car while they shopped at a Target store.

For an hour. On a 27-degree day. When he was three months old.

Their four-year-old daughter has been in protective custody by CPS since Sunday, and there have been no leads on Sky’s whereabouts.

Some stories are just so haunting you can’t get them out of your head. I remember when James Kim was lost in the woods and how it felt like the entire Pacific Northwest was hoping against hope that he would make it out alive.

I think we are all hoping the same for Sky. I hope this story, against all the odds, has a happy ending.

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Age 2, 2’10” tall, 39 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. Sky was last seen on Nov. 6, 2011, in the 2600 block of 112th Ave. N.E., Bellevue. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black and aqua blue sweatpants and white socks. If you have any information, call 911.


44 Responses to “Sky Metalwala”

  1. Molly Wolf on November 9th, 2011 2:37 pm

    I didn’t hear about this until this morning, probably because I am across the country, but it doesn’t matter how geographically far away the incident it, it is way too close to home for me. My heart breaks wide open for that little boy and I hope that he is found alive and well.

  2. Keli on November 9th, 2011 2:38 pm

    I can’t stop reading about this story and talking about it either. I’m obsessed. I just keep hoping she sent the boy away with a relative just to spite her husband. I know it’s a longshot.

  3. Kathryn on November 9th, 2011 2:38 pm

    I hadn’t yet heard about this story. So sad. Those photos bring tears to my eyes. Bless his little heart.

  4. JennB on November 9th, 2011 2:39 pm

    My heart breaks. I hope he gets home and gets into an environment where he will be loved and cared for, and not just churned through the system.
    I hadn’t heard about this but I’m glad you’ve posted about it.
    It makes me feel a bad sense of foreboding.
    Moms & Dads, hug your babies tonight. Keep them safe.

  5. Manda on November 9th, 2011 2:46 pm

    This is just horrible, terrible. I hope he is found safe and sound and soon. Poor sweet boy. My gut just churns when I hear about things like this. I can’t believe she left him alone in the car!!

  6. Stacy on November 9th, 2011 2:46 pm

    Really really disturbing. I live on the east coast but I’m glad you wrote about this. I hope some information turns up soon. PLease update this story if you hear more.

  7. Courtney on November 9th, 2011 2:47 pm

    I’m ready to pay more taxes, if it gets us more social workers to protect these kids.

  8. Mama Ritchie on November 9th, 2011 3:16 pm

    I saw an interview with the father who said he thought she is stowing the kid away with a family member or friend. I suppose he figures she’s hiding the boy from his dad. Why she’s hiding the boy and not the girl is an interesting question, but I hope to god she is hiding him, and he’s safe and sound. The most on-point quote I’ve seen about this case is the police major assigned to the case: “Nothing about the story adds up. Something else happened.”

  9. Kristen Oneal on November 9th, 2011 3:37 pm

    That is so sad. Especially since I have an almost 2 year old (next month) myself. I can’t even leave him in his crib for time out more than a couple minutes let alone in a car, in the cold. Some women just don’t deserve to be parents in my opinion. I think the “Good Mom’s Club” should bring back,stoning in the streets for women like her. But maybe I’m wrong. Sadly, probably not.

  10. melanie on November 9th, 2011 4:10 pm

    I am hoping things turn out ok for him, I live in Kansas City, and as you may have heard we have a “fishy” story going on here around the Lisa Irwin case…. her 1st b-day is on Friday and she has been missing since Oct 4th…. I still don’t know what to think

  11. Eric's Mommy on November 9th, 2011 4:11 pm

    That is just so so sad. God I hope he turns up safe and sound.

  12. Trina on November 9th, 2011 4:37 pm

    I am watching King 5 right now. The Bellevue Police are having a press conference. I really hope this sweet little boy is safe and ok.

  13. H on November 9th, 2011 4:49 pm

    I feel sick about this. Sick.

  14. Cara on November 9th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Oh no…

  15. april on November 9th, 2011 6:24 pm

    Heartbreaking. I hope he’s found safe.

  16. Jill on November 9th, 2011 7:36 pm

    This, particularly the part about previously leaving a 3 month old alone in a car whathefuck, just made me sick to my stomach.

  17. Fairydogmother on November 9th, 2011 7:37 pm

    I went to school with Kyron Horman’s dad. Not a day goes by since I heard about each disappearance that I don’t think of both of these little boys, hoping more than I could ever put into words that they each are found safe and returned home. Soon. Letting my heart outweigh logic, and the depressing statistics I don’t even want to think about.

  18. Anonymous on November 9th, 2011 7:57 pm

    I live in Julia’s apartment building and am running out of ways to explain to my 4 year old why the police are digging through our dumpsters and why the FBI are coming in during dinner to ask questions. My heart breaks everytime I hear his name or see his face and I am hoping beyond hope that Sky is stashed away safe and sound. It is sickening to me that he could have met harm right here under all of our noses. Thank you for bringing attention to this poor baby.

  19. Shannon Lell on November 10th, 2011 1:11 am

    I live in Bellevue too and I’m right there with you Linda. Can’t stop thinking about this little guy. Strange enough, I’m also from Kansas City where Lisa Irwin is currently missing. This shit hitting so close to my home(s) is making me wish I was agoraphobic.

  20. Operation Pink Herring on November 10th, 2011 2:39 am

    When “I left my two year old alone in the car for an hour” is your excuse… something is terribly wrong. This whole story makes me feel sick. I keep hoping, like you, that he’ll somehow turn up ok.

  21. anonymous on November 10th, 2011 5:48 am

    My first thought when I read about this was “It does not take a person an hour to walk a mile and back.”

  22. Donna on November 10th, 2011 6:35 am

    Please keep us updated on this because I’ll never hear what happens any other way. I’m really hoping that some nice little old gramma lady walked by the car and thought”hey, free kid”, and took him home to live wth her and her three cats, where she will make him soup and read him stories and snuggle him on her lap, and tuck him in at night and love him. And there will be cookies, and cupcakes for his classes at school.

  23. Emily on November 10th, 2011 7:24 am

    Please let this child be found safe. Please let him be taken out of his parents custody and placed with a loving and caring home life.

  24. Emily on November 10th, 2011 7:28 am

    Oh and to Shannon Lell I am from Kansas City too and can’t believe the whole thing with Lisa Irwin. There has GOT to be foul play.

  25. Claire on November 10th, 2011 8:06 am

    The messed up thing about this is that the cops noticed that this was the exact plot of Low and Order: SVU the other night. Weird, right?

  26. Rhonda on November 10th, 2011 8:51 am

    I remember the Susan Smith saga years ago – at that time I had two children. Everytime I saw her on TV I thought the same thing: if I BELIEVED my children were out there ALIVE somewhere, scared, crying, wondering where I was and when I was going to save them, I would not be coherent enough to be on TV, or any other “normal” thing. ALL I would be capable of doing on TV is looking at a camera screaming “BRING BACK MY CHILD BRING BACK MY CHILD BRING BACK MY CHILD” until they cut me off. I would not sleep. Or eat. Or bathe. Nothing. Ever. These people – Susan Smith, the KC people, these Washington people – they KNOW what happened, and that allows them to conduct themselves, well, “rationally” is not the right word, but . . . IF MY KIDS WERE GONE AND THEIR FATE UNKNOWN TO ME, MY EXISTENCE WOULD DEDICATED TO FINDING THEM, WHATEVER THE OUTCOME. I’m sitting here at my desk at work and my stomach hurts just THINKING of how I would be. I’m their MOTHER for God’s sake.

  27. Lisa on November 10th, 2011 8:52 am

    Between this and the missing baby Lisa case, what the hell is going on? Who is protecting the children of this eff’d up world from their own parents? It makes me sick and sad…

    I fear the outcome of both cases will not be good. At least maybe Sky’s sister will get a chance to live a somewhat normal, loving family life now.

  28. Nik-Nak on November 10th, 2011 9:04 am

    Makes me sick.
    So what’s the verdict? Someone stole him? The father? She killed him and used that as an alibi?
    I hope and pray he shows up happy and healthy. But truth is there were more than enough signs there that those people should not have been allowed to raise those children.

  29. Katie on November 10th, 2011 9:42 am

    I saw you post the news link to this story on Twitter and have been following since. I am praying for a good outcome to this story. I have a two year old son as well who looks vaguely like Sky so every time I see his face I just get sick to my stomach with dread.

  30. marna - jwoap-oregongurl on November 10th, 2011 10:45 am

    Kyron Horman all over again. This just makes me really really really upset and sad.

  31. Lo on November 10th, 2011 11:36 am

    This is barely relevant, but in response to the anonymous comment above, it seems to me like it would take at least an hour to walk two miles with a four year old.

    Also, I am in no way defending the parents who sound little pretty lame people, but being committed to psychiatric institutions against your will doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy or harmful. If someone has a grudge against you, it’s not that hard to commit them involuntarily (at least in the states I live in), and the cops will do it to you for as little as acting strangely in public. Just throwing that out there, because I didn’t realize that until I found out the hard way.

  32. Very Bloggy Beth on November 10th, 2011 12:29 pm

    What an awful story, I hadn’t heard anything about this yet. Sometimes I’m just so sad that they let everyone have children if they want to. Because some people just so much should not.

  33. Rachel on November 10th, 2011 12:31 pm

    My heart breaks for that little boy. I hope he is safe somewhere and I hope his sister stays safe too.

  34. Amy on November 10th, 2011 2:27 pm

    It makes you wish you had super powers so you could find him and protect him! I’m not a super churchy kinda person….but I am praying for him and his sister.

  35. Krisfun on November 10th, 2011 5:00 pm

    I too have been obsessed with this story from the beginning. Been listening to KOMO in the car all day hoping for positive updates…with Sky not actually seen by anyone else for over 2 weeks, I’m not hopefull that he is alive, but really really just want him to be found.
    And I’m sorry, but Solomon (the father) has not seen his children in 11 months. They both have already been in trouble for leaving him unattended in the car. They seem to be wanting to hurt the other so badly…I hope to God this child did not lose his life because of his parent’s childish behaviour.

  36. Charlene on November 10th, 2011 7:47 pm

    I just left the northwest from a business trip. the 1st time I heard about Sky my stomach was churning. It is so sad and so many why’s keep coming up. i pray for a safe return for this little guy but I have a feeling it is not going to be good.

  37. Sarah on November 10th, 2011 9:50 pm

    I wonder what the sister says. My 3 y.o. Wouldn’t be able to lie to cover for someone even if they asked (he falls on gramma and her sweets all the time). Sister knows something, even if it’s that he was or was not in the car that day. I hope they find him soon.

  38. Heather on November 11th, 2011 5:56 am

    I’ve been following this story since you first tweeted the link. I can’t wrap my head around leaving a 2 year old sleeping in a car, my mind stops right there. Who does that? I am hoping & praying that little boy is safe somewhere and that he wasn’t mistreated. I’m also hugging my little guys more. Between this, baby Lisa, & the PSU horror I’m feeling really (much more) emotional lately about my kids.

  39. Christine on November 11th, 2011 12:42 pm

    Oh my heart aches for little Sky and baby Lisa. On days like this, it becomes very easy for me to think of humanity as some failed experiment. For the love of Pete.

  40. Christine on November 11th, 2011 12:45 pm

    Also, even if you didn’t have a cell phone couldn’t you flag someone down on the side of the road who would? OR walk with both children the freaking mile and call for help? Or not leave your house with your two kids in the car when you have NO gas? I just want to smack my head into the desk many many times. I am hoping and praying that she just stashed him away with a relative. A nice even keeled relative.

  41. Sonia on November 11th, 2011 3:38 pm

    Oh man….this story makes me nauseous. I’ve been following closely as well, and it’s just….fucking awful. My mom went missing for 36 hours in 2008, and I couldn’t eat, sleep or speak coherently during the time she was gone, AND for almost 5 days after she was found. Not the same thing as this situation, but it made me think about how I might behave if my son was missing. I was that nauseated and worried for my mom……if it was my son, I’d hit a whole other level of Basket Case-dom.
    For now, I’m with Christine above, in hoping that the mother stashed Sky with a nice, even keeled relative.

  42. AnotherErin on November 11th, 2011 5:32 pm

    The BBC has this whole special report running on the epidemic of child abuse and murder in the U.S. – disturbing, shocking, but a must-read:

  43. Christina on November 14th, 2011 9:06 pm

    I hate to even run back into the house after I’ve strapped my 18 month old into her carseat if I’ve forgotten something – let alone leave her in an unlocked car for an hour. I would sit there and wait until I could flag someone down before I would EVER…EVER…EVER leave my baby. Alone. In an unlocked car. On the side of the road. WTF. Real moms know these bitches are lying (same goes for Casey Anthony and Deborah Bradley). May they rot in hell for eternity!

  44. Holly on November 16th, 2011 11:22 pm

    While I agree that it is quite sad (I live in the Seattle area as well and have been following the story), be careful about how much faith you give the media to report this correctly. The media LOVES to serve up a good “bad mom” story above almost everything else. The horror of a “bad mother” is irresistable and often inflated by bad and irresponsible reporting. She has not been arrested, only investigated. Our justice system requires faith in the concept of guilty until proven innocent. She may or may not have had anything to do with his disappearance. Guilty of a bad decision – perhaps. But she claims that he was very ill and she was on her way to the hospital. When her car stopped working she pulled over and he was sleeping. Maybe you would have awoken your child – and maybe not. Don’t believe everything you read. The media is not “truth” and “justice” – they are about spinning a juicy story for corporate bux. I have no connection to the story – but I get extrememly frustrated when women are hung out to dry by the media and how happily other women are to jump on the band wagon of persecuting their sisters – without the benefit of unbiased information.

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