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'All we can do right now is pray' | Islamic community holds onto faith as search continues for 3-year-old girl

$150,000 worth of rewards are being offered by the Islamic Center of San Antonio and Crime Stoppers for information on Lina Sardar Khil's whereabouts.

SAN ANTONIO — The Islamic Center of San Antonio’s Michael Martin says the power of faith is helping unite the community to find 3-year-old Lina Sardar Khil.

“People who know and understand and practice their faith, by their nature, they tend to reach out to those in need,” Martin said, who serves as the organization's outreach coordinator. 

It’s been three days since Lina was last seen at an outside play area of the Villas del Cabo apartment complex off Fredericksburg Road.

The San Antonio Police Department is working alongside FBI agents to locate Khil, an Afghanistan refugee who came to the U.S. with her parents in 2019.

The Islamic Center of San Antonio initially offered a $10,000 reward for information on Lina’s whereabouts. But within a matter of hours, that dollar amount ballooned to $75,000.

As of Thursday night, the amount had risen to $100,000, while Crime Stoppers of San Antonio said it was now offering an additional $50,000 reward of its own. 

Among the sizeable donations came from the Afghan American Foundation, a non-profit organization based on the east coast.

“We’re getting donations from people outside this community who are not Muslim, and it brings that home – that we all share that when people are in need there’s a group of people who will come together and help,” Martin said.

The nationwide flood of support for Lina’s family during this desperate time is also accompanied by prayers.

“It is difficult for the family right now. But we do have a support group here, a large support group Afghan community and we’re helping them the best we can to cope with this to see if there’s anything that they may need,” Martin said.

While the search effort continues for Lina, Martin is preparing for Friday’s sermon.

“We are responsible for our children and ourselves but we’re responsible physically and spiritually. All we can do right now is pray," Martin said.

Anyone with information is urged to call SAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (210) 207-7660 with actionable tips.

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