Mum of missing teen Richard Okorogheye told body found in pond ‘matches her son’

The mum of a missing west London teenager has been told by police the news that a body found in Essex matches that of her son.

Richard Okorogheye from Ladbroke Grove, Kensington, left his family home on March 22 and was last captured walking towards Epping Forest in the early hours of March 23.

On Monday (April 5) Essex Police confirmed that the body of a man had been found in a pond in Epping Forest and Richard's mum has told MyLondon that the description of the body" matches" her son.

Richard's mum, Evidence Joel, told the publication in an emotionally charged call: "Oh God, they said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out."

The body has not yet been formally identified and the police are still yet to release any further details.

Richard's mum and his family are being supported by specially trained officers during this extremely difficult time.

Richard's disappearance has gripped the local community as the Oxford Brookes university student has rarely left the house recently other than to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition, sickle cell disease.

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On March 22 Richard had seen boarding the 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm and on March 31 new CCTV images were released of Richard in Loughton, Essex on March 23 at around 12.39am.

Subsequently over a number of recent days police have been combing Epping Forest in the hope of finding clues to Richard's disappearance.

The Met Police said earlier tonight: "This afternoon the Met were informed by colleagues from @EssexPoliceUK that a body had been found in a pond in #EppingForest.

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"While enquiries to identify the body continue, the family of missing 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye have been informed."

Ms Joel had previously told the Guardian: "Every day is a nightmare for me now.

"I feel completely helpless. Helpless, and also, sorry to use this word, but I feel useless. Because I want to go out there, to do something to look for him, search for him, anything.

"But I can't", she added in case he tries to contact home.

Anyone with information that could assist police officers involved in the search should call 101 quoting 21MIS008134.

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