Dive teams join search for missing three-year-old girl

Lina Sardar Khil has been missing since December 19, after vanishing from a playground complex

Tom Fenton
Wednesday 05 January 2022 18:26
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Desperate search continues for missing CSULB student

An FBI underwater search team has been deployed to San Antonio, Texas as authorities ramp up their efforts to try and find a three-year-old girl who went missing over a fortnight ago.

Lina Sardar Khil, whose family arrived in America from Afghanistan in 2019, was last seen on 19 December at an apartment complex playground.

As NBC News reports, the FBI had already been involved with the search for her, but a diving team has now joined the search after arriving from Washington DC.

Police Chief Bill McManus described Tuesday’s search near the playground complex as part of investigating every possible location, following a possible tip-off.

“I wish I could be more uplifting. I know this looks like we’re really on to something, but all we’re doing here is following up on leads,” Mr McManus said.

Mr McManus would not say what led investigators to the site, which NBC affiliate WOAI of San Antonio described as a “wooded area”.

“Everything that we get that has any kind of potential at all, we follow it up – and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he added.

Young Lina had been in the aforementioned small playground complex with her mother, who left for a brief period of time. However, according to local officials, Lina was no longer there when she returned.

The police claim that they subsequently went door-to-door around the apartment complex, trying to glean any information they could from locals pertaining to the girl’s whereabouts.

They also looked in dumpsters and other secluded areas where she might have got trapped after walking off. Over the following days and weeks, hundreds of officers, FBI agents and volunteers have been involved in the search effort, but to no avail.

A reward of more than $150,000 has been put forward in the search for her, of which $100,000 is from the Islamic Center of San Antonio.

As of Tuesday night, an amber alert issued for Lina remains active and in place.

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