An Indiana mother is desperately looking for her 20-year-old daughter who went missing three weeks back in California after she received a "fanatic" phone call saying that she had a fight with her boyfriend. Lateche Norris flew from her home in Indiana to meet her boyfriend Joseph Smith in San Diego but since has vanished.
Her family now believes that her life is at risk and has urged authorities to help them find Norris. The incident comes just two months after Gabby Petito went missing in a similar way after having a fight with her boyfriend Brain Laundrie, only to be found dead after a few weeks.
Where is Norris
Norris hasn't been heard from since she frantically called her mother, Cheryl Walker, on a stranger's phone on November 5 from San Diego telling her that she had a fight with her wayward boyfriend and that she needed help. Since then there has been no news of Norris.
Her family now believes that their daughter is in danger. Walker has also launched a campaign on Facebook seeking help from people help trace her missing daughter. "My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito," she wrote in reference to the woman who went missing while on a road trip with her fiance Laundrie and was later found murdered.
"As if what happened to that sweet girl wasn't heartbreaking enough," Walker added.
Smith reportedly had recently left a rehab facility and was living on the street. Walker said her daughter left for San Diego on November 1 to be with her boyfriend.
In the Facebook post, Walker said that her daughter sounded frantic during their last phone conversation after she said that she had a fight with her boyfriend.
Norris told her mother that she needed his boyfriend's number so that she could call him. However, she didn't say why she didn't have access to her own phone, or tell her mother what the fight had been about. She told her mother that she would call her up next day and hung up but that never happened.
What Went Wrong?
It is not known what went wrong after that and Norris since has been untraceable. "She definitely would have called me back," Walker told local media, adding that her daughter would never go more than a couple of days without getting in contact. However, she also said that Norris and Smith had fights earlier too.
"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 family believes that Norris is at risk. "She is at risk. We definitely believe her to be in danger," said Walker.
"If her phone was dead, she would've found a way to charge it. Or call me from someone's phone like that day," Walker told NBC Dateline. "Something is wrong. Now the days are just flying by with no word from her. And we're terrified."
Norris 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.
Norris' disappearance has a stark resemblance with that of Petito. In September, Petito's disappearance made national headlines after she disappeared during road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. Petito was found dead in Wyoming months before Laundrie, who was the only person of interest in her death, took his own life in Florida.
Much like Petito and Laundrie who were travel vloggers and YouTubers, Norris and Smit were tattoo artists. Both Norris and Smith have tattoos on their bodies. One tattoo is visible under Smith's right ear. Lateche has a tattoo on her arm with an arrow and the words, "The only way out is through."
Walker is now appealing to authorities and everyone else to help her trace her daughter. She filed a missing person report with the San Diego Police Department the day after the call on November 5. San Diego PD Spokesperson Lieutenant Adam Sharki said the case is active and ongoing, but added that investigators do not believe Norris is currently "at risk."