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Tech Billionaires' Missing Teen Found After A Week -- Living In Van With 'Adult Friend'

Billionaires' Teenager Found After One Week Missing -- Living In Van With 'Adult' Man

A billionaire couple’s teenage child has been found alive after going missing for a week — and the circumstances are extremely disturbing.

Stewart Butterfield (pictured above) is the co-founder of Slack — you know, that team communication software you might be familiar with if you work from home. Well, sadly, his child went missing last week after leaving a suspicious note. The businessman’s ex-wife Caterina Fake (also pictured above) — who also made a name for herself in the tech world by co-founding image hosting site Flickr — first discovered their child’s absence in her San Francisco home.

The teen, Mint Butterfield (who uses they/them pronouns), left behind a note in their mom’s home “indicating that Mint had left the residence with a suitcase at an unknown time during the night or early morning” according to police. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office was made known of Mint’s disappearance after Caterina called in a missing person’s report. Due to the subject of the note left behind, law enforcement listed the 16-year-old as a “voluntary missing person”.

Related: Terrifying Kidnapping Caught On Home Security Camera!!

In total, Mint was missing for seven days after disappearing back on April 21. But thankfully, they were found alive on Sunday. Scarily, though, the teen was discovered in a van with a 26-year-old man named Christopher “Kio” Dizefalo. The Sheriff’s Office released a statement following the discovery which read:

“Through this investigation, Detectives learned Mint may have been associated with an adult friend, identified as Christopher ‘Kio’ Dizefalo, a 26-year-old male out of San Francisco. A vehicle associated with Dizefalo was identified as a white van. This van was located in San Francisco, and Dizefalo and Mint were believed to be inside.”

Despite not being injured, Mint reportedly told law enforcement that they had “run away from their home voluntarily.” After interviewing the adult man they’d run away with, though, cops arrested the guy on multiple charges — which included a count of child stealing. His bail is currently set at $50,000.

The family released a statement to The San Francisco Standard after their teen was successfully found unharmed, which said:

“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.”

It hasn’t been specified why Mint chose to ran away, but with the parents claiming it was related to drugs and grooming, it’s possible there was something really scary going on. Obviously we don’t have all the facts yet.

We’re glad to hear the teen was able to be found safe before anything tragic happened. There could’ve been a much, much worse outcome to this case.

[Image via This Week In Startups/Stanford Graduate School of Business/YouTube/Marin County Sheriff’s Office]

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Apr 29, 2024 13:10pm PDT