‘The longer the time lapses, the less hopeful we become’: Search continues for missing 3-year-old Lina Khil

Islamic Center of San Antonio puts up $75,000 reward for information on missing girl

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Wednesday evening officers “have not had much success” in their search for missing 3-year-old Lina Khil.

Despite combing through hours of surveillance footage and sending search parties through the wooded area around where Lina was last seen, police have not been able to find any leads on the child’s whereabouts.

Lina’s mother reported her missing on Monday evening. The child was last seen at the playground inside the Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg before she disappeared.

“I ask the community to be mindful ... to be very patient with the family of the mother. No one can understand this unless it’s happened to them, and it’s torture. Every second is torture,” said Dottie Laster, former director of the Heidi Search Center.

As the search continues, McManus said he has asked FBI to deploy their child abduction rapid response team to aid officers in their search.

Investigators do not have any evidence Lina was abducted and continue to treat her disappearance as a missing person case, McManus said.

“They could provide resources that we don’t have to assist us in this search,” he said.

Officers will continue searching areas surrounding the apartment complex on Thursday, but as time passes, so do their chances of finding Lina.

“The long the time lapses, the less hopeful we become,” McManus said.

Meanwhile, community members are stepping in to help.

The Islamic Center of San Antonio is offering a $75,000 reward for any information that leads officials to Lina. USAA allowed San Antonio police to set up a command post on its property, which is near where Lina was last seen. VIA buses helped transport cadets to the search areas.

Lina was last seen in 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.

“Everyone should care what happens to this child. Everyone should ask, ‘Where is she?’ Everyone should share poster her flyer, her news story,” Laster said.

Margaret Constantino with the Center for Refugee Services told KSAT on Tuesday that the child’s family is among the Afghanistan refugees in San Antonio.

Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to call SAPD’s missing person unit at 210-207-7660.

Read more:

More details emerge about missing 3-year-old Lina Khil

San Antonio police seek missing 3-year-old girl last seen on Northwest Side


About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.