The search continues for a 3-year-old girl who has been missing for close to two weeks.
As previously reported, Lina Khil disappeared on December 20 from a playground at her apartment complex in San Antonio, Texas. Her mother had reportedly separated briefly from her daughter and returned to the playground to discover that the girl was missing. Police have said that other children and adults were at the playground at the time, and investigators reviewed witness accounts and surveillance footage of the area.
Police sources told local news stations that they are focusing on an 18-minute window, between 4:49 p.m. and 5:07 p.m, when there was no sign of Lina based on surveillance footage and the witness accounts. Police have not further elaborated on that window or why it ends at 5:07 p.m.
An AMBER Alert was issued on December 20 and it remains active. Though AMBER Alerts are typically reserved for suspected abductions in which a suspect and/or vehicle description is available, police have said from the start of the investigation that they are treating Lina’s disappearance as a missing person case.
Law enforcement sources have now said they do not believe Lina was abducted.
“We’re still investigating it as a missing person, unless evidence would lead us to believe otherwise,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told CBS Dallas Fort Worth.
Police have not elaborated on why the AMBER Alert remains active despite little evidence of an abduction, and they have also not said what they believe may have happened to the girl, whose family migrated to the United States from Afghanistan in 2019, and speak a rare Afghan dialect. The San Antonio Police Chief has said that Lina’s parents have been cooperative, as they communicate with investigators through a translator.