World News

Richard Okorogheye: Body found by police in Epping Forest lake confirmed as missing student

A post-mortem examination of the 19-year-old’s body found no evidence of physical trauma Police say.

Richard Okorogheye with his mother, Evidence Joel
Richard’s grieving mother Evidence Joel described her son as her ‘treasure’

The body found by police in a lake in Epping Forest has been confirmed as missing student Richard Okorogheye.

The 19-year-old’s death is being treated as “unexplained”, the Metropolitan Police said, and officers do not believe, at this stage, there was any third-party involvement.

Mr Okorogheye, who had sickle cell disease and was said to be struggling with shielding during the pandemic, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of 22 March, boarded a bus, and later took a 20-mile taxi ride from the W2 area of the capital to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.

Richard Okorogheye, 19, is a student at Oxford University and has been missing from his home since 22 March. Pic: Met Police
Image:Police officers had been working to trace Richard’s steps after he was seen boarding a bus in Ladbroke Grove. Pic: Met Police

Mr Okorogheye’s mother Evidence Joel described her son as “a treasure” and said he had spoken of “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Through tears, she told Sky News of her son: “It’s my baby, it’s my treasure. He’s my oxygen, he’s my crown. He’s everything to me, he’s the reason why I live, the reason I exist.”

The Oxford Brookes student had sickle cell disease, and had seemingly not taken his daily medication when he left home on 22 March.

A post-mortem examination took place on Wednesday and found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.