A Second Person Has Now Been Charged in Abduction of Slack Founder’s Child

The Daily Beast/Marin County Sheriff
The Daily Beast/Marin County Sheriff

A 26-year-old parking attendant accused of abducting 16-year-old Mint Butterfield appeared Wednesday morning in court, where he was ordered not to have any contact with the teen.

During the brief hearing, Christopher “Kio” Dizefalo, clad in a yellow prison jumpsuit over a long-sleeved pink T-shirt and orange jail sandals, told Marin County Superior Court Judge Kelly Simmons that he understood her instructions. Dizefalo, whose face is tattooed with an image of a scythe, is facing charges of child abduction, a felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. He is presently detained on $50,000 bail.

Mint’s parents are billionaire tech entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of workplace messaging app Slack, and former Etsy chair Caterina Fake, who, along with Butterfield, also co-founded Flickr, the photo-sharing site. Butterfield attended the hearing on Wednesday via Zoom, but did not speak at all during the proceedings.

Tech Billionaire’s Teen Reported Missing in the Bay Area

According to a criminal complaint cited by local San Francisco news station KRON4, Dizefalo “did willfully and unlawfully, not having a right to custody, maliciously take, entice away, keep, withhold, and conceal a child … with the intent to detain and conceal that child from a lawful custodian, to wit: Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield.”

A second suspect, Sarah Atkins, has also been charged in the case but had not yet been taken into custody as of Wednesday morning, according to booking records. Further details about Atkins and her involvement in the alleged crime have not been released.

Fake reported Mint missing on April 22, saying the teenager, who goes by they/them pronouns, left home in the unincorporated township of Bolinas, California, around 10 p.m. the night before and hadn’t returned. Mint was found six days later with Dizefalo in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin District, in a white van. Cops describe Dizefalo as an “adult friend” of Mint’s, and say he convinced them to run away.

Mint’s disappearance sparked a frantic search for the teen, who was unharmed. After they were found, Fake and Butterfield penned an open letter of gratitude, writing, “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.”

Dizefalo’s arraignment was continued to Friday, when he is due back in court.

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