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Search for Lina Sardar Khil: New information remains sparse four weeks after toddler's disappearance

Lina disappeared on the afternoon of Dec. 20, igniting a massive search effort.

SAN ANTONIO — Four weeks after she vanished from a northwest San Antonio playground, an FBI search-and-response team was searching underwater areas Tuesday afternoon looking for any sign in the search for 3-year-old Lina Sardar Khil.

Law enforcement have been seen searching a field a few miles from the apartment complex where the girl disappeared. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters they were following up on potential leads, which have been scarce during this search. 

"Anything we get that has any kind of potential at all, we're following it up," he said. “I wish there was more uplifting information I could give you to at least provide some hope. But I don’t have any of that information right now, unfortunately.”

The team arrived out of Washington D.C., and is using specialized equipment and technology to assist them, according to McManus.

An AMBER Alert was issued for Lina late on the evening of Dec. 20, a few hours after police said she disappeared. It was later discontinued in early January, but not because of any notable update in the search. 

Although the search for her has grown to include volunteer crews and FBI specialists, McManus has said they have few leads to go on.

The department has continued to officially treat her disappearance as a missing-person case. Meanwhile, total reward money for information leading to Lina's discovery stands at $150,000. 

Even over the holiday weekend, search crews were seen combing through San Antonio's green belts and outdoor areas for any sign of the young girl.

Among the searchers was Mohammad Wali, who, like Lina's family, found a new home in the Alamo City after relocating from Afghanistan. 

“It is a very tragic story for us," Wali told KENS 5 on Sunday. "Our community, it’s very sad... They cannot tolerate, but we try and keep trying."

Credit: KENS 5
Credit: KENS 5
Credit: KENS 5

The day after her disappearance, KENS 5's Henry Ramos spoke with Lina's father, who said through a translator that he and his wife were questioned by authorities for several hours. He also said at the time he believes their daughter was abducted. 

An interfaith vigil held a few days after Lina's disappearance was attended by community members and relatives, as well as McManus and some local politicians. 

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