by Photo courtesy of Lateche Norris Search and Updates via Facebook

Search efforts for the Indiana Woman Lateche Norris, 20, come to an end after she was reunited with family at the downtown San Diego Library after approximately four weeks of being unresponsive. 

Norris’ mother, Cherryl Walker, flew to San Diego in search of her daughter and organized search initiatives via a social media campaign, where she said a part of her concern was the couple's history of domestic violence. On Dec.3, the search came to an end.

Police searched for the missing woman for nearly a month. A surveillance video of Norris and her boyfriend Joey Smith, 25, was released on Dec.2 by SDPD. The surveillance footage was captured at approximately 11:25 p.m on Nov.4 at a 7-Eleven store located at 222 Park Blvd in San Diego.  

Norris spoke to Walker, on Nov.5 through a stranger’s phone after a fight with Smith ensued the night before. A missing persons report was filed with the SDPD on Nov.10. 

Smith publicly said he entered Restoration Ranch, a rehabilitation center in Ramona. The facility asked Smith to leave after having a seizure. Norris flew to see Smith in San Diego on Nov.1. 

Norris made contact with Walker using a borrowed cell phone on the evening of Dec.3. According to Norris in a public statement, the couple was homeless and living on the side of a highway in a makeshift shelter in Chula Vista for the four weeks they've been unresponsive. 

“It’s very tough being homeless out here, figuring out how are we going to eat today, how are we going to just live day to day and survive,” Norris said publicly.  According to Smith, the couple made efforts to enroll in Medi-care, get free phones and made contact with Walker “the moment that plan came into action”.

San Diego Police Department Investigators confirmed that Norris was not a victim of any crime in a news release announcing she had been found. The family of Norris raised $7,230 via Gofundme and are waiting on funds to travel back to Indiana. Their goal is to reach $10,000.  

Earlier this year, Chula Vista’s outreach team conducted its own count because “we haven’t been able to gain a true count,” said police Sgt. Ernie Pinedo. The data reflects that 672 individuals are unsheltered and 120 are sheltered. Over half of that total are individuals experiencing homelessness for the first time due to factors such as job loss, mental health and the high costs of living. 

Information regarding local homeless shelters and emergency housing in the San Diego area can be found at 2-1-1 San Diego Resource Center , Dial 2-1-1 or call (858)300-1211, or contact . The Us Department of Housing and Urban Development lists shelters and their contact information listed here. 


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