Tributes paid as police formally identify body as Bristol Uni student Olisa Odukwe

‘We will remember the brilliant young man who is no longer with us’

Police have confirmed that the body recovered from Bristol harbour last Tuesday was missing Bristol Uni student, Olisa Odukwe.

Divers recovered the body from the Harbourside area near Narrow Quay last Tuesday afternoon. His friends and family were informed of the discovery although formal identification had yet to be carried out until now.

The Bristol Uni student was first reported missing on Sunday 2nd May having last been seen leaving his home in Redland early on Saturday morning.

Over the past week, friends have paid tribute to Olisa, remembering him as a “kind hearted”, “humble” and “gentle” young man.

In a tribute post, one of his close friends described Olisa after they completed a half marathon together: “Olisa encouraged me. He pushed me on, dragged me to the finish line. I couldn’t have done it without him. I feel so grateful to have experienced that together. I feel so proud to call him a friend.

“You can take those few hours and extrapolate them to his twenty years on this planet – that’s how Olisa was. Always encouraging, charitable in time and in spirit. Always laughing, always joking”.

Credit: @ubafc

Throughout his time at Bristol Uni, Olisa played for the first XI football team. Teammates have described him as “the purest soul”, with others saying “he was a pleasure to have as a friend” and that he “only ever brought a smile to our faces”.

Olisa studied Mechanical Engineering and his head of department, Professor Aydin Nassehi, paid tribute saying: “Olisa is gone. One of us is gone.

“Everyone in our department, are together in this tragedy. We will cry and we will support each other…We will listen to stories, to memories, to hopes and dreams and we will remember the brilliant young man who is no longer with us”.

In his second year at Bristol Uni, Olisa was originally from Tunbridge Wells. His friends from home who helped organise the search in Bristol have also shared their memories. One friend remembered Olisa as “one of the most strongest, kind-hearted and genuine person I know”.

The wider Bristol community have mourned the loss of the well loved student with many people simply posting a purple heart in honour of Olisa. The purple heart has become a symbol to remember him by. In memory of Olisa, a close friend from home is launching a mental health podcast called “The Purple Heart Podcast” to help normalise discussing mental health.

Nobody should suffer alone. If you are experiencing any mental health issues or high levels of stress, help is readily available for those that need it.

A list of wellbeing services available to Bristol students can be found here, as well as the Samaritans’ helpline.