Dive Teams Investigate Creek for Missing 3-Year-Old Texas Girl as Search Enters Third Week

Three-year-old Lina Sardar Kahil missing since Dec. 20, 2021.

Police and dive teams were there to investigate a lead that came in, San Antonio Police Chief  William McManus said during a Tuesday press briefing.

The FBI has brought in their Underwater Search and Evidence Response team from Washington to help San Antonio Police search for 3-year-old Lina Sardar Kahil, who has been missing since Dec. 20.

On Tuesday, a 12-member elite dive crew was canvassing a creek, approximately two miles from the apartment complex, where the family lives. While this was taking place, the young girl’s father, Sardar Riaz, was seen praying at the site, CBS News reported.

Police and dive teams were there to investigate a lead that came in, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said during a Tuesday press briefing.

“I wish I could be more uplifting,” McManus said. “All we are doing is here is following up on leads. We don’t want to leave anything to chance. Anything we get that has any potential at all we are following up and that is what we are doing today.”

The police chief said that the dive team has brought in special equipment and technology for the search. 

Lina was last seen on Dec. 20, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at a playground with her mother and other children at the Villas Del Cabo apartment complex located in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Road.  When Lina’s mother left the girl's side briefly, she was gone, according to the San Antonio Police, Inside Edition previously reported.

At 7:15 p.m. that evening, the family reported her missing, and an Amber Alert was issued.

A department spokesperson said there was no indication that Lina was with a family member, ABC News previously reported

Since Kahil’s disappearance, the police have been searching on foot and by air, and have been using K9 assistance. Part of their effort has been going door to door, to each of the 300 apartment units in the complex.

The police chief said they are still trying the case as a missing person case, not an abduction. 

Last month, The Islamic Center of San Antonio put up a cash reward that initially started out at $10,000 and grew to $100,000. Crime Stoppers announced shortly after a reward of $50,000. Both rewards combined total $150,000 if the tip helps lead authorities to the young girl, and an arrest.

At the end of the press briefing, McManus looked woeful and said: “I wish there was more uplifting information I can give you to at least provide some hope. but I don’t have that information, unfortunately.” 

The family had moved to Texas from Afghanistan in 2019 on an SVI, a special immigration visa, according to a previous news report.

The family, who speaks Pashto, has been working with an interpreter.

Two days after his daughter went missing, Kahil’s father created a GoFundMe to help find his daughter.

“I am a U.S. Military ally and have escaped Afghanistan in a quest to raise my kids in a safer environment. On December the 20th,  my daughter, Lina went missing while walking out of the playground in San Antonio Texas. My family and I are devasted by this tragic incident,” Riaz wrote. 

He added: “We are reaching out to people like you to help us with this fundraising to help my family in this hard time. Anything that you can chip in will help find my beautiful daughter Lina and get us through this hard time.”

As of Jan 5, the fundraiser has raised $2,621 towards its goal of $50,000.

Kahil is 4 feet tall and weighs 55 pounds. She has brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair that was in a ponytail, according to a handout.

She was last seen wearing a black jacket, a red dress, and black shoes.

Authorities are asking anyone who has information on the case to call SAPD Missing Person’s Unit at 210-207-7660.

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