THE body of a man was found on Monday, in a pond in Epping Forest, Essex where Richard Okorogheye a student at Oxford Brookes University was last seen before reported missing.
Richard Okorogheye who was last seen since he left home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday, March, 22.
The 19-year-old who has sickle cell disease was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, Essex, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23, walking towards Epping Forest.
He was also last seen boarding the number 23 bus, southbound, in Ladbroke Grove, Kensington.
As the issue became more serious for the Nigerian family, officers and police dogs searched the forest for four days. However, nothing of relevance to the investigation was found, Met Police.
They also invited Specialist police divers to join the search in Epping Forest.
Mr. Okorogheye was last seen dressed all in black with a white Adidas logo across his lower back and had a black satchel bag.
On Saturday the Metropolitan Police issued a fresh appeal, urging Mr. Okorogheye to contact the force or someone he trusts.
Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling, head of the Met’s Central West Public Protection Unit, said: “People can go missing from home for any of 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. Your loved ones, and many other people who you do not even know, are very concerned.
“I would also like to thank the public for their continued support in sharing our appeals, checking doorbell and dashcam footage, and passing on any information.
“As our efforts to find Richard continue, the eyes and ears of ordinary members of the public will be essential tools in our search.”
His mother, Nurse Evidence Joel said her son, who had been shielding during the pandemic had struggled with his online studies.
Ms Joel recalled him saying he was going to visit a friend, although none of them have seen him, telling her to drive safe and that he would “see me later”, she told the website.
She told the MyLondon website: “Richard has never done anything like this. “Something has gone wrong.”
According to her, Richard left home at about 8.30 pm saying he was going to meet a friend but left his wallet, jacket, and medication behind.
“All he said to me was ‘mummy, I’m going to see my friend’. I trusted him, I had no doubt or no reason to ask him further questions,” she said.
She returned home from a nursing shift at around 9pm and assumed he was in his room.
She cooked him a meal but found he was not there when she knocked on his door and he did not answer his telephone.
The alarm was raised after a locksmith helped her gain entry to the room which was empty but Richard’s wallet, bus pass and bank card were left behind.
Speaking to The Guardian, Joel, said waiting for information about her son’s whereabouts has been ‘hell’.
She told the paper that, ‘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.
‘But I can’t’, she said of needing to remain at home in case he makes contact.
On Monday, 5th April, the Police looking for missing west London student, Richard Okorogheye found the body of a man in a pond in Epping Forest.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “On the afternoon of Monday, 5 April, the Met was informed by colleagues from Essex Police that the body of a man had been found in a pond in Epping Forest. “Enquiries are underway to identify the body.
“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.
“Officers remain at the scene and enquiries continue.”
Police said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton.
He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.
On Thursday, the force said Mr Okorogheye’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.