SAN ANTONIO — The search for Lina Sardar Khil, now four years old, has stretched to six months.
She vanished from her family’s apartment complex on the northwest side. On Monday, Lina’s father joined a prayer vigil for his daughter’s safe return at the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center.
Riaz Sardar Khil, Lina’s dad, said through a translator he has lived with sorrow the past six months. His family, who recently welcomed a new child, can’t celebrate while Lina is still out there.
A prayer service with over 30 members of the Afghan and interfaith communities joined together for a Muslim prayer, asking for one thing.
“I ask people to pray for Lina and by the bliss of God she will return home and return to my family,” Amir Amiri, translating for Riaz Sardar Khil told reporters on Monday.
183 candles were set up throughout the mosque, marking 183 days since Lina went missing.
Lina’s father sat down and discussed how his family is doing amid the turmoil they’ve experienced. He says tonight was an opportunity to remind those who have forgotten Lina that she’s still missing.
The family has dealt with harassment online following Lina’s disappearance, paired with the frustration of getting few answers from San Antonio Police and the FBI.
“I haven’t received any result so far. I also sent a text message to the FBI, they have not replied to me yet and I don’t know if they’ve read my email or not,” Amiri said.
After fleeing their native country Afghanistan to find safety in the US, Riaz says he feels safe but fears for the safety of his wife and children.
“The hope I had for America when I came to the US for the first time, I don’t have that hope anymore,” Amiri said.
The belief among many, including Lina’s father, is that the four-year-old is still alive and someone took her. SAPD hasn’t provided an update to the case which is officially a missing person, not a criminal investigation.