Indiana woman, 20, vanishes in California after mysterious phone call to mother

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A 20-year-old Indiana woman vanished in early November after traveling to California, where her mother says she made a distressing phone call from a stranger’s cell phone before going missing.

Lateche Norris had gone to Santa Cruz to be with her boyfriend, Joseph “Joey” Smith, on Nov. 1, her mother, Cheryl Walker wrote on Facebook. She was last seen in San Diego on Nov. 4, and last contacted her family on Nov. 5 after getting into a fight with her boyfriend. 

During the Nov. 5 phone call, Norris told her mother about the fight and said she’d call again, Walker told KRON-TV. She said her daughter didn’t say why she wasn’t using her own phone.

Lateche Norris, 20, went missing days after traveling from Indiana to California to be with her boyfriend, according to her mother.
(Cheryl Walker FB)

But Walker said that was the last time she heard from her daughter – and that her boyfriend can no longer be reached.

Walker, has since launched a social media campaign to find her daughter, attracting widespread media attention.

“My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito,” Walker wrote on Facebook. “As if what happened to that sweet girl wasn’t heartbreaking enough.”

Petito’s case captured national headlines for months after she disappeared during a road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in August. Petito was found dead in Wyoming weeks after she vanished, while a nationwide manhunt ensued for Laundrie. Laundrie was found dead in Florida from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in October.

Walker also criticized the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), claiming that police told her that “she’s not believed to be at risk.”

The SDPD “chose to ignore the red flags, and try to push a narrative that ‘we see this all the time,'” Walker wrote.

Fox News has reached out to the San Diego Police Department for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

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