The search continues for a missing 3-year-old girl in San Antonio, Texas, as law enforcement officials say they are struggling to make progress.
As previously reported, 3-year-old Lina Khil vanished while at a playground at a 300-unit apartment complex where she lives with her family. Her mother reportedly separated from her daughter for a brief amount of time and returned to discover the little girl was gone. Lina’s father told a local news outlet that his wife initially believed her daughter had returned to the family’s apartment, but did not find her there. The family also believed at first that Lina may have been with another Afghan family, but reported the girl missing about two hours after she disappeared when they were unable to locate her.
Authorities in Texas have issued an AMBER Alert, despite having any known evidence of an abduction, a suspect name, or vehicle description, which typically accompany AMBER Alerts. Police have maintained a heavy response at the apartment complex, questioning residents, searching cars, and working to obtain surveillance video that may provide clues. Authorities said the family has been cooperative, and that police have resolved an initial communication barrier by working with a translator that speaks the family’s Afghan dialect.
Police have additionally set up a command post at the Islamic Center of San Antonio, with the organization’s full cooperation, KSAT reports. The Islamic Center of San Antonio has also put up a $75,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the missing girl.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters on Wednesday that investigators “have not had much success” in the search, despite community support and resources provided by the FBI’s child abduction rapid response team.
“The long the time lapses, the less hopeful we become,” McManus reportedly said.
Community leaders have asked for continued support and increased vigilance.
“I ask the community to be mindful … to be very patient with the family of the mother. No one can understand this unless it’s happened to them, and it’s torture. Every second is torture,” Dottie Laster, former director of the Heidi Search Center, told KSAT.
“Everyone should care what happens to this child. Everyone should ask, ‘Where is she?’ Everyone should share poster her flyer, her news story,” Laster said.
Anyone with possible information is urged to contact the San Antonio Police Missing Person’s Unit at 210-207-7660.
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