Police Formally Confirm The Body Found In Epping Forest As Richard Okorogheye

Met Police have formally identified the body of a man found in a lake in Epping Forest as missing Richard Okorogheye.

His body was first discovered on Monday, 5 April, at approximately 14:01hrs.

Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, had disclosed that her son has sickle cell disease and had been “struggling to cope” with academic pressure and shielded during the lockdown.

Richard Okorogheye
Richard Okorogheye. Image: Met

Richard, 19, went missing from his home in Ladbroke Grove on Monday, 22 March. His family informed the police of his disappearance two days after.

Investigators have said Richard’s death is being treated as unexplained and believe, at this stage, that “there was any third-party involved”.

A forensic post mortem carried out on Wednesday, 7 April, found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.

The police said the cause of death is pending while further investigations continue.

Meanwhile, his next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, the post said in a statement on Wednesday.

CCTV of Richard Okorogheye
CCTV of Richard Okorogheye. Image – Met

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.”

Earlier investigation showed Richard leaving his home and heaving towards Ladbroke Grove, W10, on 22 March at around 20:30hrs.

At 20:44, he was also captured on CCTV, boarding the 23 bus into Ladbroke Grove, towards southbound.

Investigators also revealed that Richard then took a taxi from West London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.

The last sight of Richard was a picture of him walking alone on Smart Lane, Loughton, towards Nursery Road, and Epping Forest at 00:39hrs on Tuesday, 23 March.

As part of the investigation, Specialist has remained in parts of Epping Forest as they continue to carry out further searches.

As a matter of routine, as Richard had been reported missing prior to the discovery of his body, a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote on Twitter that her “thoughts and prayers” were with his families.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Richard Okorogheye.

“I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police, who continue their inquiries into his tragic death,” she wrote.

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