Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023


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Influencer missing for weeks has ‘possessive boyfriend’ who ‘broke her phones’

3 min read

A TikToker influencer has gone missing after flying out to visit her boyfriend who "showed possessive traits", according to her worried mum.

The disappearance of Lateche Norris is being compared to the case of murdered Gabby Petito and the 19-year-old has now been missing since November 5.

Lateche's mum, Cheryl Walker, told the US Sun that boyfriend Joey Smith had broken at least four of her daughter's phones during arguments since May.

Three weeks after her daughter's disappearance, she said: "He always followed her around. He wouldn't do anything or go anywhere without her.

"He just had these mannerisms that, once you’ve lived a little longer, you can tell when things aren’t right."

On Halloween, Lateche travelled from her Indiana home to San Diego to help Smith, 25, who she believed might take his own life.

On November 5, Lateche and Smith both made calls to Ms Walker saying they had gotten into a fight.

The worried mum said: "He would always do that. Every time they got into an argument, he called me asking: 'Where's Lateche? What's she doing?'"

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That phone call was last time Walker heard from her daughter or Smith.

The last social media post shared by Lateche said: "It's okay to cry", and all of her social media accounts have been silent since then.

Ms Walker and her husband have been in San Diego for a week posting signs and searching the areas where they knew Lateche had been.

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She claimed that the police are not helping as they don't believe the 19-year-old to be at risk.

But Ms Walker believes that her daughter was being controlled by her "possessive" boyfriend.

Smith reportedly cut up Lateche’s ID, locked her out of her social media accounts and insisted on "phone-free" periods.

One of Lateche's friends started the hashtag #FindLateche, which has been used on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, and the Facebook group "Lateche Norris Missing San Diego – Official Search and Updates" for tips.

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The same friend has also started a GoFundMe to help with travel costs as the family follows leads in California.

Ms Walker is active on social media and contacting the media for help after claiming the police wouldn't search for Lateche.

When influencer Gabby Petito went missing in August the case caused a media frenzy and in September her remains were found and her death ruled a homicide.

Gabby's boyfriend was a person of interest when he killed himself.

In one Facebook post Ms Walker wrote: "My daughter is just as important as Gabby Petito. As if what happened to that sweet girl wasn’t heartbreaking enough."

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