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UPDATE: Search for Missing Toddler Suspended Saturday Afternoon: No Plans to Resume Effort on Sunday

The expanded search for missing Redmond toddler turned up empty; Police reported no new leads in the case.

Updated, 4:45 p.m.:

Police say search-and-resuce teams came up empty-handed in their efforts late Saturday in the search for a Redmond boy reportedly missing from a car parked on a Bellevue roadside on Nov. 6. 

Bellevue Police spokesperson Maj. Mike Johnson said at a Saturday afternoon press briefing that 2-year-old Sky Metalwala is still missing after 140 people combed a one-mile radius around locations in Bellevue and Redmond. The search centered on the two locations where Sky was reportedly last seen, at the Veloce Apartments on the 8000 block of 161st Avenue N.E. in downtown Redmond and on the 2400 block of 112th Avenue N.E. in Bellevue.

Police say there are no further searches planned for tomorrow, said Bellevue Police PIO Carla Iafrate.

Rescuers were briefly buoyed by two promising leads, said Johnson. Scents picked up by tracking dogs at Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue and in Marymoor Park in Redmond, but were ultimately were ruled out upon further investigation as unrelated to the case.

Sky's mother, Julia Biryukova, is reportedly the last person who saw him. Bellevue Police are working with several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to run down any clues both in the Puget Sound and abroad. Biryukova's family members abroad have not provided any leads in the case, said Johnson, and Bellevue Police and the King County Prosecutors Office are currently examining whether to pursue a missing person investigation or a criminal investigation.

"We appreciate the cooperation — albeit slight, at this hour — we appreciate the cooperation that we've gotten from mom and her attorney," Johnson said. "We don't want to jeopardize that. We're hoping that that will continue. At this point, I'm not going to say that we're going to rule out that option, of making an arrest for a crime that occurred Sunday morning, but as we stand here today, we're not moving down that road."

Previous update, 10:45 a.m.:

Authorities and search teams scoured expansive in Redmond Saturday morning looking for .

Bellevue Police Maj. Mike Johnson confirmed the search had officially expanded to take in the 640-acre park, in addition to the 2400 block of 112th Avenue N.E., where Sky's mother, Julia Biryukova, told police she had last seen him.

Johnson also said nine additional agencies and teams had joined the search, including the King County Dive Team, Seattle Mountain Rescue, King County Search and Rescue, Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue and other organizations skilled in backcountry search and rescue.

"We hope we can find Sky, and we hope we can find him quickly," Johnson said.

Marymoor Park is located several blocks to the south of the Veloce Apartments on the 8000 block of 161st Avenue N.E., the large apartment complex where Biryukova lives. Bellevue Police spokeswoman Officer Carla Iafrate said the decision to expand the search to take in the park wasn't related to a tip.

Over 140 people remain involved in the land search.

Dozens of searchers on foot, horseback and in a helicopter probed the dense brush and thickets of Marymoor, looking for any signs of the toddler. The search involved Bellevue, Redmond and King County police, as well as the search groups.

Horse teams were working along the Sammamish River Trail, which runs along the park, said Redmond Police spokesman Jim Bove.

The helicopter made several low and slow passes over the Sammamish River, which snakes from Lake Sammamish north through the park, with an individual hanging out one door looking along the riverbank.

The toddler, who lived with his mother and 4-year-old sister in Redmond, has been missing since Nov. 6, when Biryukova in Bellevue after running out of gas.

Sky's father, Solomon Metalwala, and is now calling on friends and volunteers to help in the search by around the Eastside. Responding to questions about the flyers, Johnson said he encouraged any additional help from the public and implored family members of the missing boy to contact police if they became aware that someone they knew was secretly harboring the child.

"If they are secreting Sky, we implore them to let us know this," he said. "It may be a crime to hide him. We're looking into that."

Previous coverage of this case is available here.


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