HomeTechMan arrested for child abduction after runaway teen of tech billionaires found...

Man arrested for child abduction after runaway teen of tech billionaires found in van

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A man has been arrested on child abduction charges after the teenage child of the billionaire tech entrepreneurs who co-founded Slack and Flickr was found in San Francisco on Saturday, six days after going missing.

Mint Butterfield, who uses they/them pronouns, was found at around 11:30 pm on Saturday in the notorious Tenderloin district of San Francisco after going missing last Sunday.

San Francisco police said they found the 16-year-old in a white van with 26-year-old Christopher “Kio” Dizefalo.

Described by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office as “an adult friend”, Dizefalo is suspected of coaxing Mint into leaving home six days prior. He was arrested and booked at Marin County Jail on suspicion of child abduction and other violations, according to arrest records obtained by The San Francisco Standard. He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Officials said that Mint told investigators they voluntarily ran away from home in Bolinas and that they have since been reunited with their family.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield speaking on stage at the Wired25 Summit in 2019 (Getty Images for Wired)

Mint – who was deemed “at risk” due to previous threats of suicide – was uninjured when they were found.

Following the ordeal, the teen’s parents – Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield, as well as stepdad and fellow tech founder Jyri Engeström – thanked police for bringing the 16-year-old home.

“A heartfelt thanks to all the family, friends, volunteers and strangers who called in tips and made this recovery possible,” the family wrote in an email. “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.”

Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake speaks onstage during Vanity Fair’s Founders Fair in New York in 2017 (Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Mint was reported missing by their mother at around 8.30am on Monday 22 April after disappearing the night before.

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 this week.

A missing person alert was posted on Nextdoor, with authorities warning that they believed Mint could be in the Tenderloin district.

Sgt Schermerhorn told theSan Francisco Chronicle that Mint had been known to frequent the Tenderloin area, which is notorious for drug-related issues and crime, before their disappearance.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office initially said that detectives had no reason to suspect there was an abduction or foul play in the teenager’s disappearance because they had “run away from their home voluntarily”.

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