Gabby Petito’s parents are not sitting idly by while others face similar situations to their late daughter. That’s why they reached out and tried to help when another young girl went missing on a cross-country trip to visit her boyfriend. Lateche Norris last spoke to her parents after arriving in California. A phone call to her mother on Nov. 5 indicated she’d been fighting with her boyfriend and promised to call her back the next day.
That was the last time her mother heard from Norris, with her final words shared on a Facebook post on Nov. 27. “I will Momma, I promise, I love you more,” the young girl told her mother.
Twitter, please help find #LatecheNorris she was last seen on 11/5 using a strangers phone at 222 Park Blvd in San Diego. Please remember her face and his and share. Please we need your help to bring her home safely. #FINDLATECHE #MissingPerson #TogetherWeCan #GabbyPetito pic.twitter.com/J1J7s91cr4
— joseph petito (@josephpetito) November 30, 2021
Thankfully, Norris was found alive in San Diego, with police using surveillance footage from a 7-11 to urge the public to share tips and details for the search. “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,” a tweet from San Diego police read.
Monday saw Gabby Petito’s father Joseph involve himself in the efforts, even in a small way. Petito’s tragic death has not in vain, raising awareness on a number of missing women across the United States and raising visibility on victims that have largely been treated as invisible in the past.
Using his notoriety, Petito boosted the search information and Norris’ photo on his social media channels. According to The Blast, Petito’s parents have also been in contact with Norris’ family and giving advice on dealing with the media.
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.
Video footage: https://t.co/CvVATLW7hF
— San Diego Police Department (@SanDiegoPD) December 3, 2021
Police and the FBI were involved in the search, committing to three weeks of “extensive investigative work in trying to find” Norris. Her mother also indicated they received a ransom note in the past weeks demanding $7,000 “if you want to see your daughter again.”
Both Norris and her boyfriend were found, however, with her mother having “physical contact” and reuniting with her daughter. “Thank you for everyone’s concern and assistance in finding Teche. We have notified Sgt. Tien with SDPD. We thank each and every one of you for your support and hard work. Because of you, a mother has been reunited with her mini-me. Teche’s family is respectfully asking for privacy at the is time to catch their breath,” a social media post detailing the disappearance read.