The missing woman's parents are holding onto hope that their little one is safe, but with each passing day, their faith is fading away.
Lateche Norris traveled from Indiana to California to be with her boyfriend who had been enrolled in a local rehab facility on November 1, 2021. A few days after she arrived, she called her mother from a stranger's phone to tell her that she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend Joseph “Joey” Smith, age 25, according to Fox5 San Diego.
Norris told her mother, Cheryl Walker, that she was in a heated argument with her boyfriend on November 4, 2021. Norris didn’t say why she didn’t have access to her own phone but said she would call her back. The call never came
The missing woman was last seen by an acquaintance on November 4 at a 7-11 store on Park Avenue, next door to the downtown San Diego Library, according to CBS8.
Now, the worried mother is searching far and wide for her daughter. “There's been a few incidences of domestic violence between the two,” said Walker. “It's very concerning to me now because there's a lot of red flags that were popping up that we maybe should have paid a little bit more attention to before.”
The distraught mother alerted the San Diego Police Department on November 10 and police opened a missing person case. Even though the cops said they do not consider Norris to be “at-risk,” her family and friends strongly disagree. “My daughter would never go this long without contacting us. She would never not call back, especially given the conversation we had on the 5th,” said Walker.
Norris’ family and friends said they attempted to contact Smith, but calls and messages have gone unanswered. Norris and Smith met earlier this year and lived together briefly in Santa Cruz over the summer, Walker said. Norris returned home to Indiana after two months before deciding to head back to California three weeks ago, according to New York Post.
Norris herself is known to be very active on social media, but it has been dormant since her last call. “He made a lot of promises to her, and now he’s nowhere to be found,” said Whitney Sich, founder of the nonprofit, A Voice For The Voiceless.
“All of this is uncharacteristic. If Lateche ever says ‘I’m going to call you back,’ she calls back. It’s been three weeks now,” Sich said. “There are no signs of life of her anywhere.”
The missing woman's parents are holding onto hope that their little one is safe, but with each passing day, their faith is fading away. “She has no resources. No money,” Sich said.
The mother has since launched a social media campaign to help find her daughter, and she compared the case to that of Gabby Petito's. "My daughter followed a troubled man out here that she loves, her spirit is a force to be reckoned with," Walker shared on Facebook.
"My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito! As if what happened to that sweet girl wasn't heart breaking enough... the True tragedy is that you learned NOTHING from it that helps prevent this from happening again!"
"Lateche Norris isn't a drug addict, Joey is! They fought about it when she got here because he LIED! NOW SHE'S MISSING! I don't quit when others do, I won't let you devalue my daughter's precious life. I will only get louder from here on out. Lateche Norris has an army behind her and we're only going to grow until she's found and you do something to prevent this from happening to anyone else."
Norris has brown eyes, dark brown or black hair, is 5’7″ tall, weighs 180 pounds, and has letters tattooed on her fingers. Anyone with information on Norris’ whereabouts is encouraged to email Findlateche@gmail.com or call the San Diego Police Department at 619-531-2446.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Find Lateche Norris