Family of Lina Khil thanks community, law enforcement for weeks-long search efforts

Chief William McManus says their search efforts are not letting up

SAN ANTONIO – The family of 3-year-old Lina Khil is thanking everyone for the tremendous amount of support as they ended day 17 with no sign of their little girl.

Riaz Khil, Lina’s father, has been in close contact with Pamela Allen, the director of Eagles Flight San Antonio. Her organization works closely with families dealing with situations such a this.

Allen spoke on the family’s behalf moments before the FBI dive team ended their search efforts in the 5700 block of Babcock Road.

“Riaz and his family are just saying thank you so much to everyone who has been lifting this case up in prayer,” Allen said. “Everyone who has been thinking about Lina and who has adopted this girl as their own -- they understand people care.”

Allen said Riaz Khil has been emotionally exhausted throughout this investigation.

“When we brought him out here yesterday, he was being briefed by the FBI, and he just went to his knees praying for the best outcome,” Allen said. “What he is praying for is that someone has her and is keeping her alive and that they will release her and she will be back home. He loves and misses his daughter. It was just an emotional and stressful day.”

Because of Lina’s disappearance, Riaz Khil has quit his job to focus more on his family’s wellbeing.

Allen said the Afgan community has stepped in with raising funds for the Khil family.

“This is so they could help him with resources, and groceries and utilities,” Allen said. “They put that together for him just to make sure the family is going to be OK.”

Allen said the family is not only dealing with their missing daughter, but unfortunately, they are also dealing with attacks online.

“The Afgan community has been through a lot,” she said. “Each one would tell you a story where they lost a loved one through suicide bombing or how they lost half of their family. (Riaz Khil) is no different. They came through such a war-torn area, so when they hear some of these things, ‘Oh, they sold her.’ Just negative remarks -- it hurts them because they love their daughter so much, and they want her back. It’s hurtful to them. People are saying, ‘This is fishy,’ or ‘The mom this or that.’ Right now, the focus needs to be on finding Lina.”

Allen said that most of the feedback has been positive, for which Riaz Khil is thankful.

“We all want her to be found,” she said. “It is San Antonio’s Lina. It is this country’s Lina. People are so focused on this because this baby is so vulnerable, and they want her to be found.”

SAPD said Wednesday afternoon in a written statement that the day’s “dive effort concluded without any conclusive findings.” (Read the full statement below.)

If you have any information that could help in the investigation, you are urged to call SAPD’s Missing Person Unit at 210-207-7660.

SAPD statement

“The SAPD, with the support of the FBI, continue to search for Lina Sardar Khil. The footprint of the search operations has been expanded to locations near Lina’s home. Yesterday, a search of a creek bed located in the 5700 block of Babcock Road was conducted with the collaboration of an 11-person FBI Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team. This initiative broadened the grid of our search for Lina from where she was last seen on Monday, December 20, 2021, between 4:30 - 5: 10 pm at 9400 Fredericksburg Road at the Villas Del Cabo Apartments. Today’s dive effort concluded without any conclusive findings.

“Our follow up units continue to tirelessly investigate the disappearance of Lina. No resource, both from the Department and the FBI, has been spared in this investigation. Countless hours have been devoted to evidence analysis, aggressively chasing down leads, re-interviewing people, and ensuring that every piece of information is thoroughly scrutinized.

“We will continue to search for Lina. The Department appreciates the extensive coverage of Lina’s case. Your news teams have been integral in communicating accurate, timely information to the public and this service has not gone unnoticed. Our next steps include widening the scope of the search for Lina. Collecting actionable leads is critical and we urge you to continue to communicate to the public that the best way to help bring Lina home is to share any piece of information they may have by contacting the Missing Person’s Unit 210-207-7660. We appreciate the support from our Federal partners and will exhaust every lead in an effort to find little Lina.”

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About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.