New photos show missing boy's mom in her Sunday sweats

New photos show missing boy's mom in her Sunday sweats »Play Video
Photo from retail surveillance camera show Julia Biryukova as she may have appeared on the day her 2-year-old son Sky Metalwala disappeared.
BELLEVUE, Wash. - Police released new photos Friday of a missing Redmond toddler and his mother that more realistically reflect what they looked like on the day the boy was reported missing.

Detectives are hoping that the new photos will help jog the memory of anyone who may have seen the boy, Sky Metalwala, or his mother, Julia Biryukova, around the crucial time of his disappearance.

Biryukova, 30, claims Sky vanished when she left him sleeping alone in her stalled, unlocked car for an hour while she walked to get gas on Nov. 6. But police later determined that the car had plenty of gas at the time.

The newly released photos include images taken from surveillance videos in local retail outlets that show the missing boy's mother as she was believed to be dressed on Nov. 6, in a gray sweatsuit.

Bellevue Police Maj. Mike Johnson said the photos are a more realistic portrayal of how Biryukova looks than other photos that have been floating around the Internet.

New photos of Sky also show him with his hair cut as it was around the time he was reported missing, Johnson said.

 Sky Metalwala

He said police have received some 1,200 tips since the investigation began into the boy's disappearance, and have checked out all but about 25 of them.

Police have also conducted several intense searches around Sky's home and the area where he disappeared.

Johnson said investigative efforts have led "literally around the globe," but detectives believe the answers are right here in the local area.

Johnson also said police have considered arresting Biryukova, who has turned down their requests for interviews, but have decided against it - at least for the time being. That's a strategic decision designed to encourage her cooperation, scant though it has been, he said.