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Afghan girl, 3, survived suicide bombing only to vanish without a trace nine months ago

A 3-year-old girl who survived a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has been missing for nine months since she disappeared from a playground at her family’s apartment.

Lina Sardar Khil, 3, was last seen in a playground inside the San Antonio-based and shuttered Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in December 2021.

The San Antonio Police Department does not have any witnesses or tangible evidence in her disappearance, according to New York Times.

Khil, whose family is from Afghanistan, survived a suicide bombing that killed 13 American soldiers and hundreds of Afghans in the summer of 2021 while visiting family.

Her father, Riaz Sardar Khil, was an Afghan soldier who assisted US forces and was granted immigration prior to Lina’s birth.

“We came from Afghanistan to have a happy and safe life here, but that didn’t happen,” Riaz said.

‘My whole life was ruined.’

Lina Sardar Khil, 3, disappeared from the Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in San Antonio on December 20, 2021

Lina Sardar Khil, 3, disappeared from the Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in San Antonio on December 20, 2021

Sardar disappeared within five minutes as her mother, Zarmeena, looked away while Lina played in a playground at the compound.

Sardar disappeared within five minutes as her mother, Zarmeena, looked away while Lina played in a playground at the compound.

Sardar disappeared within five minutes as her mother, Zarmeena, looked away while Lina played in a playground at the compound.

Riaz Sardar Khil (right), Lina's father, said his 'whole life has been destroyed' due to his daughter's disappearance

Riaz Sardar Khil (right), Lina's father, said his 'whole life has been destroyed' due to his daughter's disappearance

Riaz Sardar Khil (right), Lina’s father, said his ‘whole life has been destroyed’ due to his daughter’s disappearance

The FBI has joined San Antonio police in the investigation into Lina’s death.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus says both departments have investigated all tips and leads up to the nine-month mark since the toddler’s disappearance, all of which have been unsuccessful.

He said he had become confused by the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

“I haven’t talked to anyone about this case, family or law enforcement, it’s just not messed up,” McManus said.

‘Nobody disappears into thin air, and I don’t believe that Lina did either. I never give up. I don’t think the police ever give up on a case.’

This was told by Pamela Allen, a spokesperson for the family KNOW5 that a private detective has also been hired to assist investigators.

“There have been a few leads that have come in, but nothing solid,” she said.

Pictured: Locals continue their search for Lina.  Since her disappearance, public searches have since been put on hold as Lina is now believed to be no longer in Texas

Pictured: Locals continue their search for Lina.  Since her disappearance, public searches have since been put on hold as Lina is now believed to be no longer in Texas

Pictured: Locals continue their search for Lina. Since her disappearance, public searches have since been put on hold as Lina is now believed to be no longer in Texas

Pamela Allen (pictured), a spokeswoman for the Sardar family, said a private investigator has been hired in Lina's search

Pamela Allen (pictured), a spokeswoman for the Sardar family, said a private investigator has been hired in Lina's search

Pamela Allen (pictured), a spokeswoman for the Sardar family, said a private investigator has been hired in Lina’s search

Lina was last seen inside the Villas Del Cabo complex wearing a black jacket, a red dress and black shoes

Lina was last seen inside the Villas Del Cabo complex wearing a black jacket, a red dress and black shoes

Lina was last seen inside the Villas Del Cabo complex wearing a black jacket, a red dress and black shoes

Public searches for Lina in the San Antonio area have been paused as she is now believed to be no longer in the state.

Allen has encouraged all locals to continue wearing buttons with Lina’s face on them and to post flyers describing her appearance.

“We believe that somebody will say something that will lead to a good tip,” Allen said.

A $250,000 reward is available to anyone able to provide information leading to Lina’s whereabouts.

Both Lina and her family survived a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, where 13 American soldiers and hundreds of Afghans died

Both Lina and her family survived a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, where 13 American soldiers and hundreds of Afghans died

Both Lina and her family survived a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, where 13 American soldiers and hundreds of Afghans died

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus: 'Nobody disappears into thin air, and I don't believe Lina did either'

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus: 'Nobody disappears into thin air, and I don't believe Lina did either'

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus: ‘Nobody disappears into thin air, and I don’t believe Lina did either’

Upon arrival and after an initial investigation, police say they found no witnesses or tangible evidence

Upon arrival and after an initial investigation, police say they found no witnesses or tangible evidence

Upon arrival and after an initial investigation, police say they found no witnesses or tangible evidence

Lina’s mother, Zarmeena Sardar Khil, said she remembers letting her daughter out to play with other children on December 20, 2021.

Around 5:30 p.m., Zarmeena saw Lina, who was wearing a black jacket, a red dress and black shoes, running around the complex’s playground. She saw the back of Lina’s head before turning away for five minutes.

When she turned around, she couldn’t find Lina among the dozen-plus children.

She then knocked on every door for the next 30 minutes before calling Riaz.

“I kept thinking Lina would show up,” she said.

Both Riaz and Zarmeena then reached out to several local Afghan community leaders to help in their search for their daughter.

“Our community does not trust the authorities,” Lawang Mangal said. “He didn’t know what to do.”

After an hour of Lina’s disappearance, Mangal urged the Sardar family to call the police.

Riaz said his family chose to move to San Antonio because of the city's large Afghan refugee population

Riaz said his family chose to move to San Antonio because of the city's large Afghan refugee population

Riaz said his family chose to move to San Antonio because of the city’s large Afghan refugee population

Immediately after Lina's disappearance, both Riaz and Zarmeena contacted local Afghan community leaders to help with their search

Immediately after Lina's disappearance, both Riaz and Zarmeena contacted local Afghan community leaders to help with their search

Immediately after Lina’s disappearance, both Riaz and Zarmeena contacted local Afghan community leaders to help with their search

Any information about Lina's disappearance can be forwarded to the Missing Person Unit at 210-207-7660

Any information about Lina's disappearance can be forwarded to the Missing Person Unit at 210-207-7660

Any information about Lina’s disappearance can be forwarded to the Missing Person Unit at 210-207-7660

Local Afghans with stories similar to Riaz’s say Lina’s story has instilled fear in them in the nine months since she disappeared.

“We came here looking for peace, stability, security for our children,” said Amir Mohammad Amiri.

The San Antonio apartment complex is an hour and a half from Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in a school shooting in May.

“I keep an eye on them all the time,” Aminullah Amir said of taking his four children to the park.

‘I’m afraid they’ll disappear like Lina. We always thought America was safe. Now we’re not so sure.’

Riaz thought San Antonio was a good place to move his family since the city is home to an estimated 2,600 Afghan refugees.

He currently works as a truck driver, while his wife has become entangled in a community of Afghan women living in their apartment complex.

Anyone with information about Lina’s disappearance is urged to call the Missing Person Unit at 210-207-7660.