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'Lina Sardar Khil is a daughter of San Antonio' - Community unites for prayer service as search continues for missing 3-year-old girl

Faith remains a major a driving force in the search for Lina Khil, whose fourth birthday is approaching.

SAN ANTONIO — Every day that passes, one might think the hope in finding Lina Sardar Khil is diminishing. But there are those whose hope only swells with optimism as a community stands united.

“We ask you almighty to lighten the burden upon her family, to ease their suffering and to bring them the good news, to bring joy and happiness back to their heart as they were enjoying it together,” said Said Atif, imam at the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center (MCECC).

Dozens of community members gathered outside the MCECC in solidarity with the family of 3-year-old Lina, who vanished from the playground of a northwest side apartment complex on December 20, 2021.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg attended the prayer service, stressing his support for the ongoing search.

“I want you to know that Lina Sardar Khil is a daughter of San Antonio and so long as she is not here with us, the search will continue, and we’ll extend to the farther reach that we need it to go,” Nirenberg said.

A tip in Lina’s disappearance led police and volunteer search crews with Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach to the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg on Friday. But nothing was found.  

Lina’s father Riaz Khil expressed gratitude for the massive amount of assistance in the search for his daughter.

He’s endured five weeks of pain alongside his pregnant wife. But these are emotions felt across San Antonio and beyond.

“It stands out to us as a community because we all have children and we cannot just overlook this. The family of course is devastated so is the community and we stand together with them on this. We want to keep this alive and we want to keep this going. We want to keep the momentum going so we can search until we find some answers,” said Sarah Samreen, MCECC board chair.

It’s about keeping faith alive that one day, Lina Sardar Khil, will be found.

“We pray to you to bless our effort, to bless our time and make us harvest the fruit of seeing this beautiful little smile back face to face,” Atif said.

Anyone with information regarding Lina Khil’s disappearance is urged to call SAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660 or Crime Stoppers at 210-224-7867.

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