Police confirm body found in Essex as Brookes student Richard Okorogheye

Richard was reported missing two weeks ago

Police have confirmed the body found in Epping Forest in Essex is that of missing Oxford Brookes student Richard Okorogheye.

19-year-old Richard left his family home on 22nd March, over two weeks ago, and was reported missing by his mother.

On Monday, police searching for the missing student found the body of a man in a pond in the woodland of Epping Forest.

Police said Richard’s family had been informed and were being supported by specially trained officers.

Last week, it was reported police were growing “increasingly concerned for the welfare” of Richard.

Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, told My London her son was “struggling to cope” with virtual university at Oxford Brookes, where he studied Business and IT.

Richard had sickle cell disease, and had been shielding since March 2020 as a result. Evidence said he only left the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions, and he’d become depressed as a result of shielding.

He left his home in the Ladbroke Grove area on Monday 22nd March, and was reported missing on 24th March. When he left home Richard did not take his medication, or any money.

Police said Richard then took a taxi from West London to a residential road in Loughton in Essex. He was last seen on CCTV early the next day, on the morning of 23rd March, walking towards Epping Forest.

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.”

The investigation into the circumstances of Richard’s death is ongoing. Specialist teams are still in parts of Epping Forest as they continue to search as part of the investigation.

If you have been affected by this article, anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email [email protected]samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.

You can access Brookes wellbeing services here.

Featured image via Met Police