'Just as Important as Gabby Petito': Mom Says Daughter, 20, Vanished After Dispute with Boyfriend

Lateche Norris was last seen at a San Diego 7-Eleven on Nov. 4

lateche norris
Photo: facebook

An Indiana mother is turning to social media to ask for the public's help in finding her missing 20-year-old daughter after she vanished from San Diego earlier this month.

"Forgive me as I've never been good at asking for help, but this is bigger than me and I need help to find my baby!" Cheryl Walker writes about her daughter Lateche Norris on a GoFundMe page.

According to Walker, the last time she heard from her daughter was on Nov. 5 when Norris called her mother from a stranger's phone upset after an argument with her boyfriend.

In a Nov. 27 Facebook post, Walker writes how Norris had traveled to San Diego four days earlier to be with her boyfriend. Walker believes that the couple might have come into conflict after Norris arrived, and that the boyfriend may have left.

During their last phone call, Norris asked Walker if she had heard from her boyfriend and what number he had used to call her the night before.

"I let her go so she could call him, and I say 'You call me back! I love you,'" Walker writes in the post. "The last words my daughter said were, 'I will, Momma, I promise I love you more.'"

Norris' family cannot locate her boyfriend, 26-year-old Joseph Smith, now either.

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On Nov. 9, Walker filed a missing persons report with the San Diego Police Department, but she felt like the department did not take the report seriously.

"My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito!" Walker writes in the Facebook post. "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! You'd rather dismiss alarming information I gave your police department the day I reported her missing! You did NOTHING!!! You chose to ignore the red flags, and try to push a narrative that "We see this all the time."

On Tuesday, three weeks after Norris was reported missing, the San Diego Police Department announced they considered her to be "at-risk."

Walker has since flown to San Diego with family members to search for her daughter. She spent her Thanksgiving handing out fliers.

"I don't quit when others do, I won't let you devalue my daughter's precious life," Walker writes. "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 is described as standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds with dark brown/black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen on Nov. 4 at a 7-Eleven on Park Boulevard in San Diego wearing black leggings, a black sweatshirt, black tennis shoes with some white and carrying a black and white checkered backpack.

Anyone with any information is urged to the Missing Persons Unit at 619-531-2277. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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