Lateche Norris, 20, traveled from Indiana to California to be with boyfriend Joseph “Joey” Smith shortly before she was reported missing, according to family. She hadn’t been heard from since Nov. 5 when she reportedly called her mother from a stranger’s phone after a heated argument with Smith. Her mother, Cheryl Walker, reported her missing a few days later and traveled from Indiana to San Diego to search for her daughter.
The San Diego Police Department said investigators met with Lateche Norris in person Saturday and confirmed she is safe.
“Detectives also verified Norris was not and is not the victim of any crime,” said Lt. Adam Sharki, of the SDPD. “Ms. Norris thanked the public for their concern and asked for privacy.”
Walker has been in San Diego searching relentlessly since her daughter’s disappearance. She commented about the news of her daughter being found safe on a GoFundMe account she created to help pay for costs of searching for Norris.
“I don’t have any further update at this moment but I wanted to let you all know ASAP that we did it,” she said. “All of us! Gonna take a moment to catch our breath! Thank you!!!!”
Walker appeared on NewsNation’s “Banfield” during the search for her daughter saying Norris came to California to “save” her boyfriend.
“She basically boarded a plane to come out here and save her boyfriend — who was supposed to come out here and go to rehab. He has an addiction issue. She doesn’t,” Walker said.
Walker’s pleas to help find her daughter generated national attention. It also caught the eye of Joseph Petito, the father of Gabby Petito.
Joseph Petito tweeted about Norris, saying, “Please remember her face and his and share.”
20-year-old Lateche Norris was first reported missing in November after last speaking with her mother on Nov. 5.
Walker said she told NewsNation received at least five fake ransom calls when searching for her daughter.
NewsNation affiliate KSWB contributed to this report.