BREAKING: Lateche Norris, woman who vanished weeks ago, spotted on gas station surveillance, police say

SAN DIEGO — The mother of a missing 20-year-old woman from Indiana, who has been missing for weeks, says she received a $7,000 ransom note.

On November 9, 2021, Lateche Norris’ family reported her as a missing person. Norris was last seen at the 7-11 at 222 Park Blvd in downtown San Diego on November 4, 2021, at about 11:25 p.m. with her boyfriend, Joseph Smith.

Norris relocated to California to be with Smith, who officials say has a troubled past and struggles with addiction. Reports also suggest the couple was fighting before she vanished.

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On Thursday, San Diego police posted video footage they say shows Norris at a gas station.

Insider reported: Days after the family filed a missing person report for Norris on November 9, Norris’ mother received a note via a text message from an unknown number, her father told Insider.

“It was like, ‘If you want to see your daughter again, send me $7,000,’ ” her father, Walter Omega Cullum, said.

Norris’ mother, Cheryl Walker, replied to the note and asked the person to provide proof that Norris was safe and alive. The sender never responded, Cullum said.


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Norris was wearing a zippered black hooded sweatshirt over a navy t-shirt, khaki pants, black skater-type shoes with white trim, and was carrying a black and white checkered backpack. She has visible tattoos on the backs of her fingers.

Norris is described as a 20-year-old, mixed-race female, brown hair, brown eyes, 5’8”, and about 165 lbs.

Smith was last seen was wearing a long-sleeve Nike t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His shirt has a white Nike “swoosh” in the front center just below the neckline with an apparent unidentified logo just beneath it. He was wearing black or dark blue jeans and the same black, skater-type shoes as Norris. He also had a black and gray backpack. Smith has several tattoos on the left side of his neck, down his left arm and hand, and on both legs.

Smith is described as a 25-year-old male with brown hair, hazel eyes, 6’0”, and about 185 lbs.

Anybody with information related to Norris’ whereabouts should contact the San Diego Police Department Communications Division at 619-531-2000.

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