UPDATE: On December 4, 2021, Cheryl Walker posted to the GoFundMe for Norris that she has been found safe in California, with her boyfriend, Joey Smith.
No confirmation from authorities has been released at this time.
20-year-old Lateche Norris has been missing for weeks and her family is desperately seeking answers. The family has attempted to reach her boyfriend, but their calls are going unanswered.
Norris was traveling from Indiana to San Diego to be with her boyfriend, Joseph Smith. Smith had recently been released from a rehab center and was reportedly living on the street.
Norris last spoke to her mother, Cheryl Walker, on November 5 after arriving in California. Walker claims Norris called her frantically from a stranger’s phone claiming to have gotten into a fight with her boyfriend. Norris asked her mother for Smith’s phone number because she needed to get a hold of him. She did not explain why she did not have her phone or what the fight was about. Norris promised to call her mother back, but she never did. Walker filed a missing person’s report the next day.
Walker is worried Norris is in danger because she sounded desperate on the phone. Walker also claims Norris and Smith had issues with domestic violence prior to this incident.
“Something is wrong,” she told NBC Dateline this week. “Now, without words from her, the days are gone, and we are afraid.”
Lieutenant Adam Shalki, a spokesperson for San Diego PD, said the case was active and ongoing, but investigators do not believe she is “at risk” at this time.
Walker disagrees and hopes the San Diego PD takes this case more seriously after what recently happened with the disappearance of Gabby Petito.
“How many times do you have to see a young girl go missing after fighting her husband, boyfriend, or loved one? And before you start taking this a little more seriously, nothing positive. How often do you have to finish? “She told NBC San Diego.
Although Walker has stated she does not want to unfairly involve Smith, but just wants answers. According to a post on Facebook, Smith is refusing to talk to anyone, but still appears to be active on social media.
His last Facebook post shared his “relationship” with Lateche on November 2nd.
Norris is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 160 pounds, with dark brown hair and eyes.
She has an arrow tattoo on her left forearm, a 7-inch blade on her right calf, a dreamcatcher on her left shoulder blade, and an unknown word on her knuckle.
She is believed to have been wearing black leggings, a black sweatshirt, black and white tennis shoes, and a black and white checkered backpack on the day she disappeared.
If you have information about Norris’s whereabouts, we recommend sending an email to Findlateche@gmail.com or calling the San Diego Police Department (619-531-2446) and reference case number 21-501043.