Missing teenage daughter of Slack co-founder is found in van with man ten years her senior

Monday, April 29, 2024 – Mint Butterfield, the missing child of Slack’s co-founder, was found in San Francisco Saturday night, April 27, with an adult man ten years her senior.

The 16-year-old was found alongside Christopher “Kio” Dizefalo, 26, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office after the teen, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, disappeared from their Bolinas home last week.

Dizefalo, described by the sheriff as an “adult friend,” was arrested and booked at Marin County Jail on suspicion of child abduction and other violations, arrest records obtained by the San Francisco Standard.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

The parking valet was found with Mint inside his white van on Eddy Street in the city’s notoriously dangerous Tenderloin District neighbourhood, booking records said.

Mint, who was deemed “at-risk” due to previous threats of suicide, was uninjured.

They told detectives that they had voluntarily run away from home in Bolinas and have since been reunited with their family.

Dizefalo, however, is suspected of coaxing the teen to run away, the Standard reported.

Mint’s parents, Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded the instant messaging app Slack before selling it to Salesforce in 2020, and Caterina Fake, who co-founded the photo-sharing app Flickr, thanked investigators for bringing their child home.

“A heartfelt thanks to all the family, friends, volunteers and strangers who called in tips and made this recovery possible,” their parents and stepfather, fellow tech founder Jyri Engeström, said in an email to the Standard and other local outlets.

“We especially want to thank the seasoned law enforcement officers who understand the very real threat of predators who use the allure of drugs to groom teenagers.”

Mint was last seen the night of April 21 in Bolinas and was reported missing by their mother the next morning.

The teen allegedly left a note indicating to their parents that they’d had the intention of running away before they were found with Dizefalo after one week.

Authorities believed that Mint had been in the Tenderloin neighbourhood because they were known to frequent the area before running away from home, police confirmed.

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