Police in Bellevue, Wash., admitted Friday to coming to terms with the real possibility that a 2-year-old whose mother notified them of his disappearance last Sunday could die before they or the FBI can find him, The Associated Press reported.

One development Bellevue Police Maj. Mike Johnson discussed at a press conference centered on a silver Acura belonging to Julia Biryukova, who maintained that her son Sky Metalwala was missing from the seat she left him in with the doors unlocked as she and her 4-year-old daughter went to get gasoline. Police who inspected the vehicle found it already had fuel inside and showed no engine problems, he said.

Although Biryukova has not complied with a request to meet with police and answer more questions, Johnson said the absence of suitable evidence makes them unable to declare her a suspect in the case.

One of the few leads police have to go on, though, appears to have come from the least likely of places. An episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit called Missing Pieces, which aired on television a day before Sky disappeared, tells the story of a woman who informs police somebody stole the car she left her baby in when she went to buy diapers. In the TV episode, the woman eventually confesses to fabricating the incident as an explanation for the disappearance of an infant who was actually dead.

[They] have commented that it is strikingly similar in nature, Johnson told KING-TV Wednesday about the officers who have viewed it.

Johnson noted at a press conference Wednesday that Biryukova's objection to a lie-detector test looks suspicious, according to The Seattle Times.

This is not the first time police have taken issue with Biryukova's parenting skills. Police cited both her and father Solomon Metalwala after finding Sky in a car at a lot when the temperature dropped to 27 degrees in December 2009. He was 3 months old at the time.

MercerIslandPatch quoted Metalawa, who divorced Biryukova in 2010, as pleading with the person or persons responsible for the toddler's disappearance to please return Sky to the fire department, please return Sky to a hospital. Please, he's just 2 years old.