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Two adults charged with child abduction in Mint Butterfield case

A 'MISSING CHILD' poster on a pole with a photo and details, against a blurred city street backdrop.
The Marin County District Attorney's Office has charged Christopher Dizefalo and Sarah Atkins in connection with the disappearance of 16-year-old Mint Butterfield. | Source: Jackson Stephens/The Standard

Two people were charged Tuesday with child abduction in connection with the case of 16-year-old Mint Butterfield, the child of two tech founders who was rescued in San Francisco over the weekend after leaving home in Marin County.

Christopher Dizefalo and Sarah Atkins are also facing a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Marin County District Attorney's Office. Dizefalo and Atkins are scheduled to appear before a Marin County judge on Wednesday morning to be arraigned.

Butterfield was located around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the Tenderloin, where San Francisco police said officers found the teen in a white van with the 26-year-old 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. No information was immediately available Tuesday afternoon regarding Atkins' alleged involvement in Butterfield's disappearance.

Atkins was not in police custody as of Tuesday evening, according to online booking records. Marin Sheriff's Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn told The Standard that Atkins, who he said is in her late 20s, was not present when Mint was rescued.

The duo is accused of encouraging Butterfield to remain away from their home after leaving the night of April 21. Officials have said Mint left a note before running away from home in Bolinas, a small coastal town about an hour north of San Francisco. They were reported missing the next morning.

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."

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at