The search continues for Indiana woman who disappeared shortly after moving to San Diego

Instead of gathering for Thanksgiving this week, a family in Indiana will travel across the country to look for their missing daughter.

Although Lateche Norris turned 20 in October, she never went more than a few days without talking to her mother. So her unusual silence – which now lasts a little more than two weeks – has worried her family.

“There’s something wrong,” her mother Cheryl Walker told Dateline. “Now the days just fly by without saying anything from her. And we’re scared. “

Lateche Norris. (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

Cheryl told Dateline that she last spoke to her daughter on the morning of November 5, 2021. Her daughter had called from a stranger’s phone and explained that she had been in a fight with her boyfriend and needed his number so she could call for him. Cheryl added that she did not ask what happened to her daughter’s cell phone.

From the phone call, Cheryl found out that Lateche had been at 7-Eleven at 222 Park Boulevard in San Diego, California, the night before their call. She told her mother that she had been with her boyfriend when they got into fights.

At the end of the call, Lateche told her mother she would call her back. But she never did.

“She always called back, always,” Cheryl said. “And she was very resourceful. If her phone was dead, she would have found a way to charge it. Or call me from someone’s phone like that day.”

Cheryl told Dateline she was worried, but tried to remind herself that Lateche was an adult and let her live her life.

She explained that Lateche had lived in Indiana all her life until earlier this year. She had started learning to be a tattoo artist, which led to her meeting her boyfriend, who also did the same subject, along with construction.

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

This summer, the couple decided to move to California, where Lateche’s girlfriend grew up. The couple settled in Santa Cruz.

“We did not like the idea of ​​Teche having to go that far,” Cheryl said. “But California was the dream for her – an Indiana girl’s dream. So she went.”

After two months, Lateche returned home, but over the Halloween weekend, she boarded a plane again to fly across the country – this time to join her boyfriend in San Diego.

“We asked her not to go,” Cheryl said. “I do not regret stopping her.”

After Lateche’s phone call to her mother on the morning of November 5, the family did everything they could to reach her. They did not know anyone else in San Diego and they said they were unable to get in touch with her boyfriend.

Dateline also tried to reach out to Lateche’s boyfriend, but had not heard back from Tuesday.

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

On November 10, the family filed a report of missing persons with the San Diego Police Department. San Diego PD spokesman Lieutenant Adam Sharki told Dateline that Lateche’s case is an active and ongoing case of missing persons, but they do not believe she is “in danger” at this time.

“We just do not have enough information at this time,” said Lieutenant Sharki. “We are still working on finding out the exact time and place where she was last seen. Any tips are useful at this time so we can gather it.”

Lieutenant Sharki clarified that 7-Eleven on Park Boulevard in San Diego is where they believe she was last seen, but they are working to confirm other possible sightings around that time. He would not comment on whether or not her boyfriend was with her at the time.

“If the public has any information, or if you recognize her, give us a call and we’ll check it out,” he added. “Everything is useful.”

Lateche’s mother Cheryl, her stepfather Amir Walker and her father, Walter Omega Cullum, who are all in Indiana, say they feel helpless by being so far away. So instead of gathering with their families for Thanksgiving this year, they travel to the West Coast.

“We bought one-way tickets,” Cheryl told Dateline. “I’ll find out the rest when we get there, but we’re going to turn the city upside down and look for my daughter.”

She added that even though they do not know anyone in San Diego, with the help of one Facebook page created by True Crime Sisters, the community has teamed up to hang posters and spread the word about Lateches’ disappearance.

“This is not a 20-year-old girl who does not call her family because she is busy or angry,” Cheryl said. “Something’s wrong. It’s not like her.”

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

Lateche Norris (Photo provided by mother Cheryl Walker)

Cheryl describes her daughter as her “mini me” and says they have always been really close. She added that Lateche has a friendly heart but is also street smart – taking a mechanics class in high school so she would not be exploited at an auto paint shop.

Cheryl told Dateline that she hopes by sharing her daughter’s story that someone will come up with information that will lead them to her.

“As each day goes on, I discover new cracks in my heart as they break,” she said. “I’m just going to go there and find my baby.”

Lateche is described as being 5’8 “and weighs 160 lbs. She has dark brown / black hair and brown eyes.

Cheryl told Dateline that her daughter’s boyfriend sent her a picture on the night of Nov. 4 showing Lateche wearing black leggings, a black sweatshirt, black with some white tennis shoes and with a black and white checkered backpack. She has several tattoos, including an arrow on her left forearm, a 7-inch blade on her right calf, a dream catcher on her left shoulder blade, unfamiliar words on her knuckles.

Anyone with information about Lateche’s whereabouts should call the San Diego Police Department at (619) -531-2446 and reference case number 21-501043.

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