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Mother of missing woman Lateche Norris, 20, searches in San Diego

Indiana woman who was in town with her boyfriend last called her mother from San Diego on Nov. 5.

SAN DIEGO — The parents of a missing 20-year-old woman have flown to San Diego from Indiana to search for their daughter and her boyfriend. Lateche Norris has been missing for more than three weeks.

Her mother, Cheryl Walker, arrived in San Diego on Wednesday and started posting fliers downtown.  

“She is at risk. We definitely believe her to be in danger,” said Walker.

The missing woman was last seen by an acquaintance on Nov. 4 at a 7-11 store on Park Avenue, next door to the downtown San Diego Library.

Lateche had flown to San Diego to be with her boyfriend, Joseph “Joey” Smith, age 25.

“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.”

Credit: Madison County Sheriff

Booking photos and information from Madison County, Indiana indicated the couple was arrested on Sept. 28 on misdemeanor charges of “simple” domestic battery.

On Nov. 1, Lateche flew to San Diego and met up with Smith, who had been enrolled in a local rehab facility, according to Walker.

Neither Lateche nor Smith had a car in San Diego.  The couple may have used the San Diego Trolley for local transportation, the mother said.

The two apparently got into another fight on the evening of Nov. 4, Walker said.

Lateche then called her mother at 5 a.m. on Nov. 5 using a stranger’s cell phone. Walker has not heard from her daughter since Nov. 5 and there have been no new posts on the woman's Facebook page.

Walker filed a missing person’s report with SDPD via telephone on Nov. 9.

“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. 

During her final call, Lateche told her mom she would call her back soon, and told her she loved her.

Smith, the boyfriend, has stopped responding to messages, Walker said.

“Do I think they're just out gallivanting around together?  Absolutely not,” the mother said.

Both Lateche and her boyfriend, Joey Smith, have tattoos.  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.”

“She’s very resilient. She's not afraid of hardly anything. And that's another thing that scares me,” Walker said.

News 8 reached out to San Diego police about the Norris case and asked if officers are searching for Norris’ boyfriend.

“SDPD is not considering her at-risk at this time.  Anyone who has information should call SDPD or Crime Stoppers, “ responded Lt. Adam Sharki via email.

A Facebook page has been set up to track developments in the search for Lateche Norris.

Credit: Cheryl Walker

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