The family of Lina Sardar Khil, the 3-year-old Texas girl who disappeared from a playground late last month, released a new photo of the missing girl this week, taken on the same day she vanished from her San Antonio apartment complex.
The family hopes the new photo will aid in the police investigation that has carried on for weeks with seemingly little progress. The Amber Alert issued for Khil on the day she disappeared was suspended two weeks ago, though authorities have said they’re continuing to pursue all leads.
New Photo May Aid in Search
Pamela Allen, leader of San Antonio-area nonprofit Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach, released the photo on the family’s behalf in a Facebook post on Monday.
“This picture was taken on the day that Lina went missing. She was wearing this outfit and jewelry,” the post read. “The bracelets are blue plastic and gold tone. The earrings are real gold. She was wearing a ‘taweez,’ an article that has verses from the koran worn around the neck.”
The 3-year-old was reportedly wearing a black coat on top of the red dress seen in the photo.
“The father sent that to me because so many people were asking about jewelry,” Allen told ABC News on Tuesday.
Trail for Missing Child Goes Cold
Allen said she and the Khil family hope the photo may help investigators, whose search for the 3-year-old appears to have stalled.
Since the child went missing on Dec. 20, local, state and federal authorities have worked in tandem to bring her home, though their efforts have hit a frustrating series of roadblocks in recent weeks.
Early this month, an FBI dive team combed a creek bed near the Khil family’s apartment complex for two days straight but ended that search “without any conclusive findings.”
Around the same time, a law enforcement team was spotted searching a nearby field with “specialized equipment.”
“I wish there was more uplifting information I could give you to at least provide some hope,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus at the time. “But I don’t have any of that information, unfortunately.”
It’s not clear what led authorities to consider the creek bed or the field as potential sites of interest.
Days later, local police called off the Amber Alert issued just after Khil’s disappearance. In a statement, the department said its investigation is still ongoing, but did not explain the decision to suspend the alert.
One private investigator speculated that the end of the Amber Alert meant that the police probe was making progress and that the public’s assistance was no longer needed.
Chief McManus has said repeatedly that Khil’s disappearance is being investigated as a missing persons case and has hesitated to say the 3-year-old was kidnapped. Still, her family believes she was abducted, Allen told reporters.
“We believe someone has her,” she said this week. “And so that this is what the family believes — that someone has their daughter and hopefully keeping her alive.”
As for the girl’s parents, Allen said they “stand on their faith to get them through these days.”
“Her father is just relentless in the searches and trying to help us,” she continued. “He’s made it perfectly clear that he wants his baby home, he needs his baby home, and that he loves his little girl so much.”
Lina Sardar Khil Remains Missing
According to police accounts and media reports, Lina Sardar Khil — whose name has also been printed as Lina Sadar Khil — was playing at a park in the Villas Del Cabo apartments at 9400 Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio under her mother’s supervision around 4 or 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.
Chief McManus told reporters her mother had briefly walked away, and that Lina was gone when she returned.
Lina is described as 4 feet tall, weighing 55 pounds with straight, brown hair about shoulder length. She was last seen wearing a red dress with black shoes and a black jacket.
San Antonio police are still accepting the public’s help in the search for the missing 3-year-old. Anyone with relevant information is asked to call the San Antonio Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660.