Lina Sardar Khil: What Happened to Her? Is She Still Missing?

What happened to the young girl named Lina Sardar Khil has brought out the heartfelt sympathies of many, especially given the pain it seems to have caused her loved ones. This case is well detailed in episodes 5 and 6 of ‘Never Seen Again’ season 5. These episodes of the Paramount+ show are titled ‘Lina Sardar Khil – No Safe Haven’ and talk about just how her disappearance led to the rise of much pain, speculations, and even conspiracies, along with the authorities’ investigations into the same. Naturally, many have closely observed the latest updates in the case.

Lina Sardar Khil Disappeared From the Playground

Lina Sardar Khil, the daughter of Zarmeena Sardar Khil and Riaz Khil, was a happy child whose presence seemed to delight those around her. Her father, Riaz, proudly served in the Afghan Army and had even helped the US in its various operations in their homeland of Afghanistan. However, he did not feel as if this nation would be a safe place for him to raise his family, given how his role as someone working against the Taliban might bring danger to his family.

As such, Riaz and his family, including Lina, moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 2019. In the Paramount+ series, this former army man described how he had considered his daughter precious and cherished her as his firstborn. He further shared how his family had traveled back to Afghanistan, and they had been in the country when the US pulled its forces from there on August 30, 2021, and the Tliban returned to power . Owing to his previous work, Riaz had to flee immediately, and he waited with bated breath to have his family return to him.

Little did the Khil family know tragedy was soon strike them anyways. On December 20, 2021, Lina had been playing at a playground at 9400 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, while her mother, Zarmeena, kept an eye on her. However, for just a short amount of time, the latter looked away, not realizing that she’d never see her daughter again. Between 4:30 PM and 5:10 PM on that fateful day, Lina vanished without a trace left behind.

Not being able to find her daughter, Zarmeena immediately contacted her husband, who started talking with other families in the community. They had been living in the area alongside several other Afghan refugees, and it initially seemed probable that Lina might be with one of them. Yet, when that yielded no results, authorities got involved, with even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stepping in to look for the 3-year-old girl.

The disappearance of Lina led to a widespread search across the city of San Antonio. From the woods to the water bodies, each and every location was combed thoroughly in order to find any evidence of her whereabouts. While it seemed like she may have vanished into thin air, a witness named Kaleb Jackson soon shared a testimony that appeared to provide additional clues. According to his accounts, he’d last seen Lina, who he remembers as wearing a red dress, with two other boys dressed in traditional Afghan wear whom he had never seen before and has not since. He added that his friend had apparently also seen Lina walking to the gate with the boys and had tried to call her. The latter didn’t follow since he’d reportedly thought they would come back, but they didn’t.

As the search for Lina continued, many theories regarding what may have happened to her emerged. The first pointed towards the claim she may have fallen victim to child traffickers who might not have targeted her for any specific reason. Another suggested someone in the local community might have been involved, based on Kaleb’s testimony. Theorists have also pointed fingers towards the Khil family themselves, claiming that Riza and Zarmeena might have arranged for the disappearance of their daughter, though they have adamantly denied this. Riza himself asserted he was happy with what he was earning as a truck driver and found the idea that he might have bartered his child for money to be inconceivable.

Another hypothesis posed forward in this case has been the possibility that Lina might have been targeted specifically by someone who wanted revenge on Riaz for his former work against the Taliban. A possibility that a member of their local community might be involved in this revenge plot has also been mentioned. Riaz’s status as a Special Immigration Visa refugee due to his help to the US forces is the reason behind the involvement of the FBI in a seemingly local case.

Lina Sardar Khil is Yet to be Found

For well over two years now, Lina Sardar Khil’s disappearance has remained an unsolved mystery. The young girl would have turned six on February 20, 2024. Her parents, Zarmeena Sardar Khil and Riaz Khil expressed hope that their daughter will return home. Riaz even mentioned in the Paramount+ show that he wants his two sons, who are both younger than Lina, to go into law enforcement so as to either find Lina or at least unravel just what had happened on that tragic night.

Age Progression Sketch of Lina Sardar Khil

While Zarmeena herself prefers not to be in the limelight much, she has also expressed her desire to have her daughter home. “I am missing my child. I cannot forget her and it is affecting me a lot and my other child who is coming to this world,” a pregnant Zarmeen told FOX 29 in February 2022. Her statement was translated from Pashto, the language that she and her family speak. The mother has also expressed extreme regret over the fact that she let her daughter out of her sight even for a second.

A total reward of $250,000 remains available to anyone who might have any information pertaining to the whereabouts of Lina. The majority of the prize is from the Islamic Center of San Antonio, while the San Antonio department has also offered $50,000. Riaz and Zarmeena also contacted the authorities after they saw a picture of a young girl with the Border Patrol Agents, believing the child could be Lina. However, the Agents have firmly denied that the child in question is Lina. As such, the whereabouts of Lina remain unknown to this day. Though the police are reportedly not treating her disappearance as an abduction.

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