Billionaire's missing child, 16, found in back of van a week after vanishing

Mint Butterfield
Mint Butterfield -Credit:Marin County Sheriff's Office

A teenager of two Silicon Valley tech moguls was found safe in the back of a van a week after disappearing from their mother's home. Mint Butterfield, 16, was discovered in "a crime-ridden neighbourhood" after going missing from Bolinas, California.

They are the child of Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield, who has an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, and Flickr tycoon Caterina Fake, valued at $25 million, reports the Mirror.

According to a press release from the Marin County Sheriff's Office: "On April 27th, at approximately 2330 hours, 16-year-old missing person, Mint Butterfield was located safe in San Francisco".

During the investigation, it emerged Mint might be with a friend, Christopher "Kio" Dizefalo. A white van linked to the 26-year-old was found, and upon approaching the vehicle, San Francisco police found Butterfield safe and unharmed inside.

San Francisco detectives confirmed Butterfield had run away voluntarily. They were returned to their family, while Dizefalo was interviewed by detectives.

Police stated Dizefalo was arrested for "multiple crime violations" and his bail was set at $50,000.

The statement concluded: "The Marin County Sheriff's Office is thankful for the assistance of the San Francisco Police Department, the Oakland Police Department and the FBI for their continuous efforts in helping us locate Mint. We would like to also thank the other governmental and non-governmental agencies who reached out and offered additional resources. Additionally, we appreciate the help from the public in trying to locate Mint and providing tips that ultimately led to their safe return."

Concerns were heightened during Butterfield's disappearance over the possibility of them being in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, notorious for its high crime rates.

The area is infamous for its significant homeless community and as a centre for narcotics trade, especially fentanyl. A 2018 report highlighted the dire situation in Tenderloin, with streets "overwhelmed with heroin needles and mounting piles of human waste".

Mint is the child of Slack's co-founder, while Butterfield's mother, together with Mint's father, established the photo-sharing website Flickr, which they later sold to Yahoo in 2005. Fake, on her own, has made a name as a successful businesswoman and was once the chairwoman of the online marketplace Etsy.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter.