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Police Have Few Clues As Search For Missing Texas Toddler Enters Third Week

The search for Lina Khil is now entering its third week. She vanished from a playground in San Antonio on December 20.

By Constance Johnson
Lina Sadar Khil Pd 3

Texas authorities have not ruled out foul play in the search for a three-year-old girl who has now been missing for nearly three weeks.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told KSAT last week that there were possible suspects linked to the disappearance of Lina Khil, but he did not elaborate.

“I will say that we’re looking at some people, yes, but I won’t get into it deeper than that,” McManus previously told the station.

Right now investigators are still treating the case as a missing person and not an abduction, according to KSAT.

“If it were an abduction, we could be looking for an individual or have evidence of a child being abducted,” McManus said on Wednesday, according to KSAT. “Right now, we don’t have any of that. That may change, but right now, it’s still a missing person.”

Lina was last seen on December 20 on the playground of the apartment complex where her family, who immigrated from Afghanistan in 2019, lives. Her mother stepped away for a minute and when she returned Lina was gone. Police said that the toddler was never alone and that other children were on the playground as well. Her parents are cooperating with the investigation, police said.

Over the weekend, a non-profit group, the Eagles Flight Advocacy, organized a search for Lina, along with members of San Antonio’s Afghan community. The group provides support to families with children who are disabled while also advocating for abused and missing children. There’s no information indicating Lina falls into any of those categories, so it’s unclear why the group organized the search.

Lina Sadar Khil Pd 2

Police also issued the 13Amber Alert in connection with the case, according to KSAT.

The FBI is also searching for the toddler, interviewing neighbors and nearby businesses.

“FBI showed up and they searched my apartment. They looked under the bed, under the couch outside They had this questionnaire. Going through questions, ‘Would you be willing to give a DNA sample if needed?’” said an apartment resident who did not want to be identified, according to KSAT.

Agent Justin Garris of the FBI’s San Antonio field office told reporters during a briefing last week that they are taking an “aggressive” approach.  The agency is using its child abduction rapid deployment team, behavioral analysis unit and forensic examiners.

On Tuesday morning a group of volunteers gathered, once again, to search for the little girl in wooded areas, apartment complexes and dumpsters, according to WOAI.

"I mean we are not giving up," Nina Glass, director of Search and Rescue SATX told WOAI. "We will continue searching and continue looking until SAPD or somebody tells us otherwise."

Glass told the station that Lina’s father has joined volunteers searching for his daughter, but her devastated mother doesn’t leave their apartment, which is near the playground where she vanished. Glass said she spoke with Lina’s mother through a translator and that she is worried about her daughter.

“Our Missing Person’s Unit is working tirelessly at receiving leads and tips on little Lina’s case, “ a spokesperson for the San Antonio Police Department told ABC News. “We will continue to follow every lead, no matter how small, until Lina is located.”

Lina has brown hair and brown eyes and was wearing a black jacket, red dress and black shoes when she disappeared.

A reward of $150,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to Lina’s whereabouts.

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