Missing Child of Slack, Flickr Cofounders Found Safe, Man Charged

Missing Child of Slack, Flickr Cofounders Found Safe, Man Charged

(Left) Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield speaks at his company’s Frontiers conference in San Francisco, Calif., on April 24, 2019. (Right) Cofounder of Hunch Caterina Fake attends the Wired business conference in New York City on June 14, 2010. (Noah Berger/AFP via Getty Images; Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Conde Nast)

Rachel Acenas

Rachel Acenas

4/29/2024

Updated: 4/29/2024

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A man faces kidnapping charges after he was found in a van with the missing child of two high-profile tech founders, according to authorities.
Christopher “Kio” Dizefalo, 26, was arrested and charged with suspicion of child abduction and other felonies, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the press release stated.
The suspect is described by authorities as an “adult friend” to 16-year-old Mint Butterfield, the child of Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield.
Authorities discovered the teen and suspect together late Saturday night inside a white van in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, which is considered one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The teenager was considered at-risk due to a history of suicidal threats but was found uninjured.
The teen’s mother told authorities that she last saw her child on April 21 in her residence in Bolinas, a small coastal town about an hour north of San Francisco. Ms. Fake discovered the child was missing from the residence the next morning, along with a note. The teen left with a suitcase during the night or early morning, according to a press release.
A missing person’s flyer with the teen’s picture was shared on social media but initial attempts to find the missing runaway teen were unsuccessful, law enforcement said.
“Unfortunately, there has been misinformation disseminated through social media and other outlets regarding potential associates or persons who may know of Mint’s whereabouts,” according to an April 25 statement.
Late Sunday Afternoon, the San Francisco Police Department announced that the teen was found unharmed.
“Mint Butterfield has been safely located and reunited with family,” the post stated.
The teen’s parents, stepfather, and fellow tech entrepreneur Jyri Engeström, released a statement expressing gratitude to law enforcement and the public for helping in the search for the at-risk teen.
“A heartfelt thanks to all the family, friends, volunteers and strangers who called in tips and made this recovery possible. 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.”
Social media users suggested the search was given special treatment due to the child’s high-profile parents. In 2004, the teen’s parents co-founded the image-hosting website Flickr and sold the company in 2005. The tech execs divorced two years later. The child’s father later co-founded Slack, a popular workplace productivity platform. Salesforce later acquired his company for $28 billion.
“Glad she is home safe. Now if only all missing/runaway children received as much attention as the child of tech millionaires,” a user on social platform X posted.
“Her wealthy parents should pay [San Francisco] City for efforts,” another user posted. “Most likely she will be back out on the streets.”
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the San Francisco and Oakland Police Departments, and the FBI assisted in the search. Authorities said the multi-agency search and tips from the public ultimately led to the teen’s safe return.
Meanwhile, the suspect is being held on $50,000 bail.
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Rachel Acenas

Rachel Acenas

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Rachel Acenas is an experienced journalist and TV news reporter and anchor covering breaking stories and contributing original news content for NTD's digital team.

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