The family of a woman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances three weeks ago after a fight with her boyfriend is appealing to the public for help, insisting she is “just as important as Gabby Petito.”
Lateche Norris, 20, last spoke to her family on the phone from a stranger on November 5, days after she left home to meet her boyfriend in San Diego, who had left rehab and was released. is living on the street.
Lateche’s mother, Cheryl Walker, described her daughter as looking frantic on the phone.
Walker said Lateche called her from a stranger’s phone, explaining that she had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend, Joseph “Joey” Smith, and needed his number so she could call him.
Lateche didn’t say why she didn’t have access to her phone or elaborate on the fight that broke out but promised to call her mother back later that day.
However, the second call never came.
‘SOMETHING IS NOT TRUE’
Walker told local media that the couple had broken up before, and confirmed there had been domestic violence in the past.
“She’ll definitely call me back,” Walker said, adding that normally her daughter wouldn’t go more than a few days without talking to her.
“If her phone was dead, she would find a way to charge it. Or call me from someone’s phone like that day.
“Something is wrong,” she told NBC Dateline this week. “Now, days go by without a word from her. And we’re terrified.”
The day after the call, Walker filed a missing person report with the San Diego Police Department.
PD San Diego spokesman Lieutenant Adam Sharki said that Lateche’s case is ongoing and ongoing, but investigators do not believe she is “at risk” at this time.
However, the missing 20-year-old’s friends and family members strongly disagree.
‘JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PETITO’
“My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito,” Walker wrote in a Facebook post, regarding a vlogger has gone missing in a road trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie in September and was later found murdered.
“As if what happened to that sweet girl wasn’t heartbreaking enough,” Walker added.
Anxious mom tells NBC San Diego she’s worried history might repeat itself.
“How many times do we have to watch a young girl go missing after a fight with her husband or boyfriend or someone else, and how long it doesn’t work out, before we start taking this a little more seriously?” she speaks.
Walker added that she did not want to unjustly implicate Smith, who she claims has a criminal record that includes arson and vandalism.
He is said to have not responded to any of her calls or texts, despite appearing to be very active on social media.
Lateche’s social network shut down all activities on November 5.
Walker and her husband, Amir, Lateche’s stepfather, flew from Indiana to San Diego, where they searched for her day and night.
So far, they have had no sign of her.
Lateche was last seen on November 4 at a 7-Eleven at 222 Park Blvd, the night before she called her mother.
Police said they were still working to confirm other sightings around that time.
Investigators have so far declined to comment on whether Smith was with her when she was last seen.
Lateche lived in Indiana for much of her life until earlier this year, when she moved to Santa Cruz with Smith. Both are avid tattoo artists.
She moved back home to Indiana after just two months, before flying back to see Smith just days before she went missing.
“We begged her not to go,” Walker told Dateline. “I regret not stopping her.”
Walker describes Norris as 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 160 pounds with dark brown hair and eyes.
She has a tattoo of an arrow on her left forearm, a 7-inch blade on her right calf, a dreamcatcher on her left shoulder blade, and unknown inscriptions on her knuckles.
It is assumed that she was wearing black leggings, a black sweater with white tennis shoes, and carrying a black and white checkered backpack on the day she went missing.
Walker has also criticized the San Diego Police Department for not doing enough to find her daughter.
“[SDPD] Walker wrote in a Facebook post.
Speaking to local media, Walker continued: “It feels like she’s in her head… This isn’t a 20-year-old girl who doesn’t call her family because she’s busy or crazy. Yes. something is wrong. This is not her.”
Anyone with information on Norris’ whereabouts is encouraged to email Findlateche@gmail.com, or call the San Diego Police Department at 619-531-2446 and reference number 21-501043.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4164622/lateche-norris-missing-gabby-petito-case/ Lateche Norris, 20, mysteriously disappeared after arguing with her boyfriend when mother said she was ‘as important as Gabby Petito’