SAN ANTONIO – As area police and the FBI fan out across San Antonio in search of missing 3-year-old Lina Khil, more details are emerging about the child.
Khil was reported missing by her mother on Monday evening at the Villas Del Cabo complex in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus said.
Lina was wearing a black jacket, red dress and black shoes when she disappeared.
A flyer distributed by police says she is 4 feet tall, weighs 55 pounds and had her shoulder-length hair in a ponytail. Police believe the child may be in grave or immediate danger.
SAPD is “sparing no assets or resources” and searching every unit and car where Lina was last seen, McManus said at a Tuesday morning press conference.
Officers were still searching the Northwest Side complex at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Lina’s family are refugees from Afghanistan
Margaret Constantino with the Center for Refugee Services told KSAT Tuesday that the child’s family is among the Afghanistan refugees in San Antonio.
At least 1,300 people from Afghanistan have come through the Center for Refugee Services for resettling here.
While she knows very little about the family, including when exactly they came to the United States, Constantino says any missing child is everyone’s missing child.
“And like any big family with lots and lots of little kids, all of these children are precious to us,” she said. “Knowing this community, they’re very close-knit. So people will be out there beating the bushes, looking for this child.”
Earlier Tuesday, an SAPD sergeant said there has been a bit of a language barrier between officers and the girl’s mother. They brought an interpreter to help with the communication.
Lina disappeared at a playground
Lina was at a playground at the apartment complex with her mother and other children between 5-6 p.m. when her mother left and returned to find her daughter missing, the chief said in a news conference Tuesday morning.
It is unclear exactly how long the mother was away, but McManus said she returned a “short time later.” McManus said the girl wasn’t left alone and there were other kids at the playground, which is open within the complex.
The family reported the child missing around 7:15 p.m., and an AMBER Alert was issued.
Officers searched the area by foot and air Monday but did not locate her. SAPD continued their search Tuesday morning and asked the FBI for assistance.
Officers were going door by door to each apartment — there are under 300 units in the complex — to search for Lina.
Officers are also searching for video, checking cars and dumpsters, and recording license plates due to the “suspicious nature of the disappearance,” he added.
“We have every available asset in the police department working on the case right now,” he said, adding that “we are sparing no assets or resources.”
So far, the mother and residents have been cooperative, McManus said.
“Nobody comes and goes without talking to a police officer,” he said.
Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to call SAPD’s missing person unit at 210-207-7660.