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FBI divers search the creek looking for Lina Khil, 3, who went missing Wednesday


SAN ANTONIO – A new lead in the Lina Khil investigation was brought to new terrain Wednesday as the FBI and San Antonio police underwater search and evidence response team was traversing a creek in the Northwest. of the city.

The creek is about a quarter of a mile long and runs parallel to Huebner Road, about two miles from where the 3-year-old was last seen on December 20.

Divers on Wednesday were seen navigating murky waters and deploying new technology that can detect debris in mud and salt, combing every inch in hopes of finding anything that might be. help locate her.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the 12-member diving team are experts at mapping places like creeks. They’ll get as far as they need to get to the lead they’re aiming for, McManus said.

SAPD says the area has not been covered so far and says it has done a lot of analysis and comparison work between different information sources. But so far, no lead has resulted in a recovery.

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Lina originally disappeared not far from the Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Street. She was wearing a black coat, red dress, and black shoes on the day she was reported missing.

Here’s everything we know so far about the missing person case.

SAPD asks for public help, tips to assist in finding Lina Khil

San Antonio police are asking specific people to contact their Missing Persons Unit to help assist in finding Lina.

Any resident of the Villas del Cabo Apartment Complex, located at 9400 Fredericksburg Road, between 4:30 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. on Monday, December 20, is recommended to contact SAPD at 210-207-7660 with “helpful tips. ”

In addition, anyone who spoke to Lina or her family at any time on December 20 is advised to contact police as soon as possible.

“No detail is too small as we continue our search for Lina,” SAPD said in a statement.

While the police presence at the family home looked different during the holiday, the department said its resources to assist in finding Lina are being redirected “to be as proactive as possible.”

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The police are treating the disappearance as a disappearance, not a kidnapping

Although San Antonio police have asked the FBI to deploy a Child Abduction Rapid Response Team to assist officers in their search, McManus made it clear that investigators did not have any pretext. to believe that Lina has been kidnapped.

“If it was a kidnapping, we might be looking for an individual or there is evidence of a kidnapped child,” he said. “Right now, we don’t have any of those. That could change, but for now, it’s still a missing person.”

Another reason they consider it a disappearance is that there are currently no suspects, he said.

SAPD used canines in the search, which is still located in the San Antonio area.

But the FBI’s Rapid Response Team has resources that SAPD doesn’t have, McManus said.

“If we have video that is not really clear, they can work to clear up any video footage,” he said. “They have the resources, they have the boots on the ground, here, that’s helping us expand the area.”

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FBI agents were seen knocking on people’s doors, as well as inspecting nearby businesses.

“The FBI showed up and they searched my apartment. They looked under the bed, under the chair outside. They had this questionnaire. Under the questions “Are you willing to give a DNA sample if necessary?”, an apartment resident who did not want to be identified said.

The officers continued to search the area around the apartment complex, but as time went on, their chances of finding Lina increased as well.

“The longer time goes by, the less hope we have,” says McManus.

Muslim Community, Crime Stopper Offers Combined $150K Reward for Information on Lina

San Antonio’s Islamic hub and crime stops are offer huge rewards for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in connection with the disappearance of a 3-year-old child Lina Khil.

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ONE cash rewards was taken up by the San Antonio Islamic Center on Wednesday, December 22. It initially started as a $10,000 reward before receiving multiple donations, totaling $100,000 on Thursday. , December 23.

Crime Stoppers also announced late Thursday, December 23, it will also offer a reward of $50,000. Both rewards total $150,000 if the tip helps bring authorities to the young girl and arrest her.

Lina and her family are refugees from Afghanistan

Margaret Constantino with the Refugee Service Center told KSAT the child’s family was among the Afghan refugees in San Antonio.

At least 1,300 people from Afghanistan have come to the Refugee Service Center to resettle there.

Margaret Constantino with the Refugee Service Center told KSAT on Tuesday that the child’s family is one of the Afghan refugees in San Antonio.

While she knows little about the family, including the exact time they arrived in the United States, Constantino said any missing child is everyone’s missing child.

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“And like any large family with lots of young children, all of these kids are so precious to us,” she said. “Knowing this community, they are very attached. So they’re going to be out there pounding the dust, looking for this kid.”

Lina disappeared at a playground

Lina was at the playground at the apartment complex with her mother and other children from 5-6 p.m. on December 20, when her mother left and returned to find her daughter missing, the sheriff previously said. know.

It’s not clear exactly how long the mother has been away, but McManus said she’ll be back “a little while later”. McManus said the girl was not left alone and had other children at the playground, which is open in the complex.

The family reported the child missing at about 7:15 p.m., and a Warning AMBER has been issued.

Officers searched the area by land and air that day but could not find her. SAPD continued their search for the week and asked for FBI assistance.

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Lina Sardar Khil, 3, was last seen at a Northwest apartment complex on Monday night, Sheriff William McManus said. (Courtesy of SAPD)

The staff went apartment by apartment – there are less than 300 apartments in the complex – in search of Lina.

Officers also searched video, checked cars and containers, and recorded license plates due to the “suspicious nature of the disappearance,” he added.

“We have every asset available in the police department that is handling the case right now,” he said, adding that “we don’t use any assets or resources.”

So far, the mother and the resident have cooperated, McManus said.

“Nobody comes and goes without talking to the police,” he said.

Anyone with information about her disappearance is asked to call SAPD’s missing person assistance unit at 210-207-7660.

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Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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