Search for missing 3-year-old Lina Sardar Khil reaches 1-month mark

Lina Sardar Khil has been missing since Dec. 20.

January 20, 2022, 5:07 AM

A month after 3-year-old Lina Sardar Khil went missing, the search for her is as urgent as ever.

This is what's known so far.

Lina disappears

On Dec. 20, 2021, Lina was last seen at a park on the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio between 4:30 p.m. and 5:10 p.m., according to police. The park is near the family's home at the Villa Del Cabo apartment complex.

She was out of sight from her mother for an unknown amount of time before the mother realized Lina was nowhere to be found, according to police.

Lina has brown eyes and straight, brown hair, and was last seen wearing a black jacket, red dress and black shoes. In a newly released photo, Lina can be seen in that outfit. She also appears to be wearing blue bangle bracelets on one wrist and gold-toned bangles on the other, plus small gold earrings and an article around her neck described as a Taweez, which is etched with verses from the Quran and usually worn for protection.

Police issued multiple Amber Alerts and said she could be in "grave danger."

The FBI has joined the San Antonio Police Department in the search for the young girl. They are accepting any tips, video footage or insight concerning her potential whereabouts.

Agent Justin Garris of the FBI's San Antonio field office told reporters on Dec. 28 the investigation into Lina's disappearance is "aggressive," adding that the FBI has utilized its child abduction rapid deployment team, behavioral analysis unit, intelligence response teams, and forensic examiners.

Community rallies

Lina's family is part of an Afghan refugee community in San Antonio. They arrived in the United States in 2019 and speak Pashto.

Police have issued alerts in multiple languages, urging anyone with information to come forward.

The girl's father, Riaz Sardar Khil, said at first they believed that their daughter could be with another Afghan family in the community but now they believe she may have been abducted.

"During our entire lives we have not been as saddened as we were yesterday and today," he told KENS5 through a translator right after she went missing.

PHOTO: Lina Sardar Khil appears in an image provided by the San Antonio Police Department.
Lina Sardar Khil appears in an image provided by the San Antonio Police Department.

The Islamic Center of San Antonio is offering a $100,000 reward, and the Crime Stoppers of San Antonio has offered $50,000 for information resulting in the arrest or indictment of a suspect accused of involvement in Lina's disappearance.

The Eagles Flight Advocacy & Outreach organization, a San Antonio-based nonprofit, joined the search in early January, with about 150 people from the Afghan community showing up to help.

"We can't sit still. We have to do something," Pamela Allen, CEO of Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach, told ABC News.

The Afghan community also started a GoFundMe account for the Khils so they can focus on the search for Lina, and Culturingua has been working to get the word out to the Afghan community and the organizations within their network, she added.

Dive team ends search

On Jan. 5, an FBI dive team ended its search without finding any trace of the girl.

PHOTO: Lina Sardar Khil appears in an image provided by the San Antonio Police Department.
Lina Sardar Khil appears in an image provided by the San Antonio Police Department.

A spokesperson with the San Antonio Police Department told ABC News in a statement that the "dive effort concluded without any conclusive findings" and police have now "broadened the grid" in the search for Lina.

The Amber Alert for Lina was suspended on Jan. 7, but police stressed that the investigation is ongoing and that Lina is "an active missing person."

"We will continue to diligently continue combing through leads in hopes of locating Lina and reuniting her with her family," the SAPD spokesperson added.

Authorities are asking anyone who has information to call SAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660.