What Happened to Mint Butterfield? The Child of Slack's Co-Founder Went Missing

Mint Butterfield left a note at their house but didn't say where they were going. The 16-year-old also packed a suitcase.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 29 2024, Published 5:36 p.m. ET

According to the CBS News, "Etan Patz walked out of his New York City home headed for a school bus stop just two blocks away. The 6-year-old never made it to school that day in 1979 – and he's never been found." NYPD Lieutenant Chris Zimmerman told the outlet this is definitely one of the oldest missing person cases they have. That's not the only thing that separates this disappearance from others. Patz is also the first missing child whose face was put on a milk carton.

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For over 15 years, the smiling faces of lost children would appear on the sides of milk cartons, per History.com. This made sense because milk was in the homes of almost every American, who often spent their breakfasts staring at the container. Unfortunately the campaign wasn't very successful. It actually instilled fear into kids who started seeing stranger danger around every corner. Could an analog movement like this have helped Mint Butterfield when they went missing? Here's what we know.

(L-R): Caterina Fink; Stewart Butterfield
Source: Getty Images

(L-R): Caterina Fink; Stewart Butterfield

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What happened to Mint Butterfield?

The Marin County Sheriff's Office issued a missing person's alert via their Instagram, on April 25, 2024. The sheriff's office was contacted by Butterfield's mother, Flickr founder Caterina Fake who last saw Butterfield "at approximately 2200 hours on April 21st inside their home, located in Bolinas." Butterfield, whose pronouns are they/them, left a note saying they were leaving but provided no further information.

They also packed a suitcase though authorities had no idea how Butterfield was able to possibly leave the area, as they were told the 16-year-old did not have a phone or a car. The sheriff's office did not suspect foul play but were concerned Butterfield might hurt themselves as there was a previous threat of suicide. Butterfield was considered a "voluntary-missing juvenile." Butterfield was located six days later, but they weren't alone.

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Who is Christopher "Kio" Dizefalo?

The San Francisco Standard reported Butterfield was found on April 28, 2024. They were with 26-year-old Christopher "Kio" Dizefalo, who has since been charged with kidnapping. They were located in Dizefalo's white van around 11:30 p.m., said San Francisco police. Authorities described him as an "adult friend" who they believe convinced Butterfield to leave with him.

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The outlet reports that, per arrest records, 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." As stated, Mint's mother is the founder of Flickr and Mint's father, Stewart Butterfield, is the co-founder of Slack. "A heartfelt thanks to all the family, friends, volunteers and strangers who called in tips and made this recovery possible," they said in an email.

The San Francisco Police Department lists several resources for anyone whose child has gone missing. They suggest checking all local hospitals as well as homeless shelters. As painful as this would be, the police also recommend reaching out to the medical examiner's office.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call, text, or message the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Dial or text 988, call 1-800-273-8255, or chat via their website.

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