Father Of 3-Year-Old Who Went Missing From San Antonio Playground Speaks Publicly For The First Time

Photo: San Antonio Police Department
Lina Sadar Khil

San Antonio police has raised concerns about finding missing toddler Lina Khil as passing time makes the search more difficult.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said on Wednesday that evening officers “have not had much success in the search for Lina following her disappearance on Monday evening, December 20.

“The longer the time lapses, the less hopeful we become.”

Lina’s father Riaz Sardar Khil spoke to KENS-5 through a translator on Tuesday to plead for anyone with information to come forward.

He added that he and his wife “have not eaten or slept” since Lina disappeared. 

Lina Khil went missing from a San Antonio playground.

The 3-year-old had been playing in the playground located at the family’s apartment complex when her mother briefly stepped away.

When she returned her daughter was gone.

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Riaz Sardar Khil reportedly stated that Lina is believed to have wandered down a nearby path leading away from the playground.

Lina’s mother initially believed the child may have made her way back to the family’s apartment. Then, her father thought she may be with another family in the area.

"During our entire lives we have not been as saddened as we were yesterday and today," Lina’s father, Riaz Sardar Khil added. 

Now, Lina Khil’s family think she was kidnapped.

Authorities have issued an AMBER Alert, which is typically reserved for abductions in which a suspect and/or vehicle can be identified.

"We are sparing no assets or resources trying to find 3-year-old Lina," McManus said.

However, McManus has stated that it is unclear if this is a missing person case or an abduction.

He did acknowledge the “suspicious nature” of Lina’s disappearance.

McManus says he has asked the FBI to deploy their child abduction rapid response team to aid his officers in their search.

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Police have reportedly identified and contacted almost all of the witnesses believed to be at the playground at the time Lina vanished.

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Officers also reportedly went door-to-door at the 300-unit apartment building, searched cars and dumpsters, and set up checkpoints to speak to people coming and going from the complex.

A $75,000 reward has been offered for Lina Khil’s safe return.

The Islamic Center of San Antonio offered the $75,000 reward for anybody who could provide information that would help find Lina.

The center had initially offered a $10,000 reward but the amount grew as donations came in with many from the community hoping for Lina to be found safe.

The Khil family are refugees originally from Afghanistan with Lina’s father, Riaz, saying the came to the US in 2019 to flee threats in their home country.

Lina was last seen wearing a red dress, black jacket and black shoes. She weighs 55 pounds, has brown eyes and straight brown hair with a light skin complexion.

McManus encouraged anyone who has information about Lina to contact his department's Missing Person's Unit at 210-207-7660.

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.