Tuesday, 13 Apr 2021

Richard Okorogheye: Met Police confirm body found in lake is missing 19-year-old

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Scotland Yard said the death is being treated as unexplained but officers do not believe there was any third-party involvement “at this stage”. A post mortem took place on today and found no evidence of physical trauma or assault. The force said the cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out.

Detective superintendent Danny Gosling, head of the Met’s central west public protection unit, said: “My deepest sympathies go out to Richard’s family at this incredibly difficult time. This was not the outcome that any of us had hoped for and we will ensure that his grieving family are well-supported by specially trained officers.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the many officers, staff and members of the public who have each played a part in the extensive effort to locate Richard.”

Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, previously said her son had spoken of “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during the COVID-19 lockdown.

As someone with sickle cell disease, Mr Okorogheye would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition, she said.

Speaking after the body was discovered on Monday, she told the MyLondon website: “They (the police) said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out.”

Mr Okorogheye was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, Essex, in the early hours of Tuesday March 23, walking towards Epping Forest.

Initial police inquiries identified the teenager leaving his home address and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove at around 8.30pm.

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel with a white Adidas logo.

Police said further inquiries established that he then took a taxi from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton.

He was captured on CCTV walking alone in Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

The force said Mr Okorogheye’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

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