A Nigerian student at Oxford Brookes University, Richard Okorogheye, has been found dead after two weeks of searching.
According to his mum, Evidence Joel, the 19-year-old left home on March 22 and was reported missing two days after.
Mrs Joel had repeatedly pleaded for information on her son’s whereabouts.
“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.
“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 I live, the reason I exist. Right now I’m empty, there is nothing to look forward to. He’s taken my breath away from me,” she told Sky News.
But on Wednesday, the Metropolitan police, in a statement, confirmed that a corpse found in a pond Monday has been confirmed to be Mr Okorogheye’s.
“On Monday, 5 April, at approximately 14:01hrs, the Met was informed by colleagues from Essex Police that the body of a man had been found in a lake in Epping Forest.
Formal identification has now taken place and the body has been confirmed as that of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye.”
The Met police authorities said the next of kin had been informed and were being supported by specialist officers while investigation is still ongoing.
“Richard’s death is being treated as unexplained and police do not believe, at this stage, that there was any third-party involvement. A forensic post mortem took place on Wednesday, 7 April. The cause of death is pending whilst further investigations are carried out, however it found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.
“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.”
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.
“Specialist search teams remain in parts of Epping Forest, Loughton as they continue to carry out further searches as part of the investigation,” the cop added.
What we know so far – Police
Although investigation continues, the British police said the Initial enquiries identified Mr Okorogheye leaving his home and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove, W10 on 22 March at approximately 20:30hrs.
He was then seen boarding the 23 bus in Ladbroke Grove, heading southbound at 20:44hrs.
“Further enquiries have established that Richard then took a taxi journey from west London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.
“He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards the area of Nursery Road and Epping Forest at 00:39hrs on Tuesday, 23 March. This was the last confirmed sighting of Richard.”
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