Lina Sardar Khil’s 4th birthday observed as child is still missing

Lina has been missing since Dec. 20th when she was last seen at her family’s apartment complex

SAN ANTONIO – A grim observance was held Sunday for little Lina Sardar Khil who has been missing for two months.

What should have been a birthday celebration turned somber at the Villa Del Cabo apartments on Fredericksburg Road where Lina was last seen.

Four doves were released by Lina’s father, Raiz Khil, as a violinist played “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

They represented Lina’s four birthdays.

Speaking through a translator named Norro Muhammed, Raiz said his family is suffering.

”It’s been two months since Lina is lost. In the meantime, today is her fourth anniversary and it’s really painful. My pain is increasing,” Raiz said.

For 62 days, the Khil family, the community and law enforcement have searched for little Lina.

Eagle Flight founder and CEO Pamela Allen organized many of those efforts and are working closely with the Khil family.

”Today was hard because we had prayed and just believed that she would be here and we would be having this loud, honkin’ celebration. Instead it turned into an observance,” Allen said.

Sunday’s crowd decorated for a child’s birthday with all of the trappings, snacks and balloons.

Instead of hearing her laugh with the other children, Lina’s face is on a missing poster with the number for SAPD.

Meanwhile, at the Islamic Center of San Antonio, came an incredible gift and welcome news.

”Another pledge had come in from out of town and the reward money has now been increased to $200,000,” Michael Martin, community outreach and public relations for the Islamic Center of San Antonio, said.

For weeks the reward from the Islamic Center stood at $100,000. Just days ago, it increased to $120,000.

In combination with Crime Stoppers, the reward total is now a quarter of a million dollars for information about Lina.

“As the amount increases, as we keep it in the news, as it keeps getting reported…somebody who never, they may see the picture for the first time after two months and they say, ‘I remember that girl,’” Martin said. “Or, ‘I remember seeing somebody who looked like that girl.’ That’s all we need.”

When asked what a normal birthday celebration would look like for his daughter, Raiz said we’ll see next year because she’ll be there.

If you have any information about Lina’s disappearance, you’re encouraged to call San Antonio Police Department at (210) 207-7660.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news 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.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.