Search for Lina Sardar Khil missing Afghan refugee 3 year old girl feared abducted from San Antonio playground enters 4th day with no signs.
San Antonio police have expressed their faltering hopes of finding the three-year old daughter of an Afghan refugee family who disappeared from an apartment complex playground three days ago despite a massive search effort and a $75,000 reward for the safe return of the missing girl.
Police and FBI agents have been working non stop to locate Lina Sardar Khil, who was last seen at the Villa Del Cabo apartments on Monday evening wearing a black jacket, red dress and black shoes.
Police Chief William McManus previously said that the child vanished while her mother was away ‘for a short time,‘ but the girl’s father claimed that his daughter went missing after walking towards a nearby path while in her mother’s care.
Riaz Sardar Khil said in an interview with KSAT that his family believe that Lina has been abducted, but the police chief told reporters on Wednesday that the child’s disappearance is still being treated as a missing person case because they do not have descriptions of a possible suspect or a vehicle.
The Islamic Center of San Antonio in Texas is offering a $75,000 reward for any information leading to Lina’s safe return as concern for the missing child’s well being diminishes with every hour passing.
Did child’s mother have temporary lapse?
The police chief revealed that in the first hours after Lina’s disappearance, K-9 dogs picked up a scent but then lost it and have not been able to pick it up again.
McManus added that his investigators have gathered and reviewed dozens of video recordings from doorbell and surveillance cameras, but so far they have not found anything relevant to this case.
Lina went missing sometime between 5 and 6pm on Monday, and her parents reported her missing about an hour later after failing to locate her in the apartment complex, which houses about 300 residents.
‘Early on is very important,’ McManus told reporters when asked about the first hours of the search. ‘Unfortunately, I have to say the longer time lapses the less hopeful we become.’
Authorities sent a second AMBER Alert for Lina on Wednesday evening. The first AMBER Alert was sent to people’s phones late Monday night.
Lina was last seen in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Road after her pregnant mother allegedly stopped watching the girl ‘for a short time’, according to police. The family disputes this allegation, and insist Lina was never out of her mother’s sight.
Although police say they do not know whether Lina wandered away from the playground or if she was taken by someone, and they do not have a description of a possible kidnapper, the girl’s family suspect foul play.
Was she abducted?
Lina’s father, Riaz Khil, told KENS5 through a translator that his wife was watching their daughter at the playground between 5 and 6pm on Monday, when the three-year-old walked over to a nearby path and suddenly vanished.
Lina’s mother initially thought she may have returned to the family’s apartment, but she was not there.
The family then thought Lina may have left the playground with another Afghan family but now believe she may have been abducted.
The Khil family moved to the US in 2019 from Afghanistan after fleeing from ‘threats that were posed to us,’ the father told the station.
‘During our entire lives we have not been as saddened as we were yesterday and today,’ Riaz Khil said.
The father said that the FBI questioned him and his wife for several hours on Tuesday. Riaz added that he and his wife have not eaten or slept since Lina’s disappearance.
So the “park” inside the complex looks to consist of a soccer court, gazebo/grill area and a dog run. What path did she take off on? If she was playing in the dog run “playground”, was the gate shut? pic.twitter.com/ulW0Fu3T8z
— Janelle (@Janelleee_k) December 22, 2021
Child of Afghan refugees who came to the US for a better life
Officers have been searching for Lina by going door-to-door to question all residents, checking cars and dumpsters, and looking for surveillance footage.
Chief McManus said his department is ‘sparing no assets or resources’ to find the little girl.
On Tuesday, local officials asked FBI to help with the search, given the suspicious circumstances surrounding Lina’s disappearance and the length of time she’s been gone.
Margaret Constantino, with the Center for Refugee Services, confirmed to KSAT that Lina’s family are Afghan refugees.
‘We will continue this until, hopefully, we find Lina but we are not stopping,’ McManus said.
Lina is four-feet-tall and weighs 55lbs, with brown eyes and straight, shoulder-length brown hair tied in a ponytail. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, a red dress and black shoes.
Authorities are asking anyone who has information on Lina’s whereabouts to call SAPD Missing Person’s Unit at 210-207-7660.