Lateche Norris, Who Was Reported Missing Last Month, and Her Boyfriend, Joey Smith, Found Safe

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Twenty-year-old Lateche Norris has been found safe in San Diego, California, just shy of a month after she was reported missing.

She and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Joey Smith, were reportedly found near the downtown San Diego library in the same spot where they were thought to have gone missing.

This comes after the case grabbed national attention and drew comparisons, by some, to Gabby Petito. Gabby’s mother even joined in the search for Lateche on social media.

In early November, Cheryl Walker left her home in Indiana and traveled to San Diego to search for her daughter.

In a since-deleted Facebook post after Norris was found, Walker said, “I feel it’s imperative to state that Joey hasn’t hurt her. And while we do ask everyone respect our privacy, it was necessary to immediately confirm this since he’s being compared to Brian Laundrie.”

Norris flew to San Diego to see Smith on November 1 and called her mother on November 5, but was not heard from for weeks after, according to her family.

In an interview on “Twitter Spaces” Sunday, Lateche’s stepfather, Amir Walker, claimed the couple had been living in a makeshift shelter, and she was choosing to be homeless in California to be with Joey rather than return to Indiana with her family.

Walker also reportedly said he was sent a ransom text asking for $7,000 in exchange for his daughter’s safe return.

Walker said Lateche didn’t even know she was missing, nor did she realize her case drew national attention.

The GoFundMe Cheryl set up says the family is no longer asking for money since her daughter was found safely. but it’s still open for collecting donations “in case there is anything she may need.”