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Mint Butterfield found: Man arrested for alleged abduction of missing teen

A graffiti of a gun with text and a "Missing Child" flyer featuring a young person is posted on an urban utility box.
A missing child flyer for Mint Butterfield, the child of former Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, is seen at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Hyde Street in the Tenderloin. | Source: Jackson Stephens/The Standard

The 16-year-old child of two tech founders was rescued from the streets of San Francisco almost a week after leaving home in Marin County with a man now arrested and accused of abducting the teen.

Mint Butterfield was located around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the Tenderloin, where San Francisco cops say they found the teen 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.

Records show Dizefalo is jailed in Marin County on suspicion of multiple felonies, including child abduction, as well as a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bail is set at $50,000.

In an email to the press, 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 the Marin County Sheriff's Office and San Francisco Police Department for bringing Mint home.

"A heartfelt thanks to all the family, friends, volunteers and strangers who called in tips and made this recovery possible," the family's email went on to say. "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."

Officials said Mint left a note before running from home in Bolinas, a small coastal town about an hour north of San Francisco, the night of April 21 and was reported missing the next morning.

Detectives focused their search on San Francisco’s roughest neighborhood because they said the mother believed that was where Mint was headed. 

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office classified the teen as voluntarily missing, with agency spokesperson Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn telling The Standard as recently as Friday that detectives had no reason to suspect there was an abduction or foul play.

The agency echoed a similar point in its press release Sunday afternoon, saying that while the teen was considered "at risk," detectives confirmed this weekend that Mint "had run away from their home voluntarily."

When asked about the search culminating in felony charges despite what he said two days earlier about no crime being suspected, Schermerhorn declined to comment.

“I can’t go into it any further,” he said in a phone call Sunday evening. “It’s based on statements that were made and some work that our detectives were able to uncover. I don’t think there was foul play related to kidnapping or anything else, which is what some people were saying is what happened.”

SFPD offered no additional details Sunday except to confirm that Mint was "safely located and reunited with family." It referred all other inquiries to the Marin County Sheriff's Office.

In a press release Sunday afternoon, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office thanked SFPD the Oakland Police Department and the FBI "for their continuous efforts in helping us locate Mint."

"We would like to also thank the other governmental and non-governmental agencies who reached out and offered additional resources," the statement continues. "Additionally, we appreciate the help from the public in trying to locate Mint and providing tips that ultimately led to their safe return."

Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at