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Richard Okorogheye Death: Body of a missing student found in a pond near Epping Forest

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The body discovered in a pond in Epping Forest has been identified as Richard Okorogheye.

He was a 19-year-old student who got missing last week.

His body was discovered in a pond in Epping Forest this afternoon, police said. No formal identification has taken place, however, Richard’s mother Evidence Joel told MyLondon: ‘Oh God, they said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out.’

According to an official statement released on Monday by the Metropolitan Police said:

‘Detectives investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye are aware. ‘Richard’s family are being supported by specially trained officers and kept updated with developments.

The 19-year-old who had a sickle cell health issue was said to have gone missing after he left his family home in Ladbroke Grove near West London on March 22 and was last reported missing two days after.

Police say he was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, Essex, in the early hours of March 23, walking towards Epping Forest after boarding the number 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44 pm.

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back.

Police divers had previously been seen in a body of water in the woodland.

Richards mum while relating the incident revealed that her son left home without his medication, wallet or jacket and pleaded with members of the public to help find him.

In an appeal directly to the Oxford Brookes University student, Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling said:

‘People can go missing from home for a number of reasons. ‘Our job is not to cast judgment but to work to find them and bring them home safely.

‘My message to Richard is clear: Our only concern is your safety. You are not in trouble and have done nothing wrong.

‘If you read or hear this message we would ask you to contact us, or someone you trust, to let us know you are safe.’

Police said he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton in Essex. He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest at 12.39 am on Tuesday, March 23.

On Thursday, the force said Richard’s phone has not been used since his disappearance. As someone with sickle cell disease, he would only leave the house to go to the hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.

His mother previously said that her son had spoken of ‘struggling to cope with university pressures and had been shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown. Speaking to The Guardian, she said waiting for information on her son’s whereabouts has been ‘hell’.

She told the paper: ‘Every day is a nightmare for me now. ‘I feel completely helpless. Helpless, and also, sorry to use this word, but I feel useless. Because I want to go out there, to do something to look for him, search for him, anything.’

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