20-Year-Old Woman Who Went Missing And Drew Comparisons To Gabby Petito Found Safe In San Diego

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  • Cheryl Walker
    American actress (1918-1971)

A young woman from Indiana who vanished in California, raising comparisons from her mother to Gabby Petito, has been found alive and unharmed, according to police.

Lateche Norris, 20, was reported missing shortly after her mother, Cheryl Walker, lost contact with her in early November. Investigators with the San Diego Police Department met with Norris in person on Saturday and wrote in a statement that they have “confirmed she is safe.”

“Detectives also verified Norris was not and is not the victim of any crime,” police wrote on Saturday.

Her stepfather Amir Walker spoke about Norris for a couple of hours on Sunday through a Twitter Spaces account hosted by user @Nerdy_Addict, CBS8 reports.

During that chat, he said his stepdaughter “never knew that she went missing” because she has been living on the streets with her boyfriend, Joseph Smith.

“Teche is choosing to stay homeless,” Walker said.

He said that Smith has built “a huge type of fort right there off of the highway.” He said that the family reunited with the couple over the weekend and that they ripped down missing posters together before sharing shots of Jägermeister.

Norris’ vanishing garnered attention last week after her mother said she believed her daughter as at risk, comparing her daughter’s situation the case of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old murder victim whose disappearance captivated the world earlier this year.

Norris and Smith reportedly have a recent history of domestic incidents. Police were first called to an incident between Norris and Smith after they got into a fight at a Safeway grocery store in California’s Los Gatos on Sept. 1, San Diego outlet CBS 8 reports. Police arrested Norris on charges of domestic violence charges at that time. Days later, the pair moved out of an apartment and flew to Indiana. On Sept. 27, they got into a fight that resulted in both being arrested on charges of misdemeanor domestic battery. On Nov. 1, after some time apart, Norris flew to San Diego to meet up with Smith again.