Community gathers to pray for return of Lina Khil

While no one is giving up hope, suspicion of foul play is starting to grow.

SAN ANTONIO – For five weeks now, we’ve been asking the question, where’s Lina?

As of Saturday, there are still no answers. However, a group gathered at the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center to pray for answers and her safe return.

“And as a part of our faith, we learn in our religion not to give up hope,” Saeed Atif, an Imam, said.

Each bowed head in the crowd prayed for the same thing -- to bring Lina Sardar Khil home safely.

But with another day turning to night, it’s hard to stay positive.

“Time is the enemy in many ways with cases like this,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

It’s been over 30 days since the three-year-old was last seen playing at her apartment complex on Fredericksburg Road. Nirenberg said he’s been in contact with San Antonio police nearly every day.

“We are expanding every resource and following every lead, no matter where it leads, to try to bring her home,” Nirenberg said.

The latest lead brought investigators to the town of Fredericksburg.

In a statement, SAPD said the city worked with their department but nothing was found.

For some at Saturday’s event, it’s hard not to think the worst after all this time.

“Every passing day, not feeling...not finding her or having any trace of her back is making this suspicion even stronger,” said Dr. Bushra Yusuf, who is on the board of directors for the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center.

Lina’s father, Riaz Khil, spoke to the crowd through a translator. He echoed Dr. Yusuf’s suspicion and made a simple request.

SAPD confirmed that this is still a missing person case and not a case of child abduction.

Anyone with information is asked to call the missing person unit at (210)207-7660.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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