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Richard Okorogheye latest – Mum’s heart ‘ripped apart’ by son’s death in Epping Forest pond with cause still unknown

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RICHARD Okorogheye’s devastated mum says her heart has been “ripped apart” by cops finding his body in an Epping Forest pond.

Evidence Joel described how her life “is already empty” after police confirmed the body found in the Essex woodland on Monday was that of her 19-year-old son, who was reported missing two weeks ago.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “My heart feels as if it has been ripped apart.

“I am completely hollow and devastated and empty.

“Life is already empty, there’s like a cloud just hovering around, it took the sun away from me. What am I going to look forward to? What is there to look forward to again?”

Richard, 19, disappeared two weeks ago after taking a taxi from his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London to Loughton in Essex having told his mum he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown.

The tragic teenager’s death is being treated as unexplained and police do not currently believe there was any third-party involvement.

They confirmed his exact cause of death is still “pending”.

Follow our live blog below for the latest Richard Okorogheye updates…

  • TIMELINE: POLICE FIND BODY IN HUNT FOR MISSING STUDENT

  • RICHARD’S MUM, FAMILY & FRIENDS VISIT EPPING FOREST

    Evidence Joel, the bereaved mum of tragic Richard Okorogheye, has visited Epping Forest to pray and lay flowers in a touching farewell.

    She laid flowers at the lake where the 19-year-old’s body was found in Essex.

    The 19-year-old  was described by his mum as her "treasure"
    The 19-year-old was described by his mum as her “treasure”Credit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
    'He's my oxygen, he's my crown. He's everything to me', said his mum
    ‘He’s my oxygen, he’s my crown. He’s everything to me’, said his mumCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • REFERRAL TO POLICE STANDARDS OFFICE MADE AS A ‘MATTER OF ROUTINE’ AFTER RICHARD REPORTED MISSING

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

    An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.

    “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

    Mr Okorogheye left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22.

    He was reported missing the following Wednesday.

  • RICHARD’S MOTHER LEFT ‘COMPLETELY EMPTY’

    The devastated mum of a 19-year-old boy whose body was found in Epping Forest two weeks after he vanished has today sobbed “my heart has been ripped apart”.

    Richard Okorogheye disappeared after telling his mother he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown.

    Richard’s heartbroken mum Evidence Joel, 39, told Sky News she feels “completely hollow and devastated and empty”.

    She added: “At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure.”

    Ms Joel described Richard as the “perfect child” and said she felt “lucky” to be his mother.

  • RICHARD MUM’S ‘LIFE TORN APART’

    Richard Okorogheye’s heartbroken mum, Evidence Joel, has told Sky News her heart “feels as if it has been ripped apart”.

    The nurse, 39, told the broadcaster today that she feels “completely hollow and devastated and empty”.

    Her comments come after the Metropolitan Police confirmed yesterday that the body found in Essex on Monday was her 19-year-old son.

    “At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure,” she added.

  • RICHARD’S DEATH HAS LEFT ‘MASSIVE HOLE’ SAYS MUM

    Richard Okorogheye’s grief-stricken mum says she feels ‘broken’ and ’empty’ after her 19-year-old son’s body was found in an Epping Forest lake.

    A ‘devastated’ and clearly shocked Evidence Joel, 39, told BBC News: “I still expect Richard to walk through that door and say ‘mummy sorry my phone battery went out’, or ‘I lost my phone’, or he doesn’t have any money to find his way.”

    “I’m still expecting that. It’s a big hole, a massive hole that can never be covered again.

    “Especially learning that maybe he won’t walk through that door anymore. My baby will never walk through that door again, to see and embrace… oh Richard,” cried the overwhelmed mum on TV.

    The bereaved mum, Evidence Joel
    The bereaved mum, Evidence JoelCredit: Sky News
  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S PHONE NOT USED SINCE DISAPPEARANCE

    Richard Okorogheye left his family home at around 8.30pm on March 22 and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove.

    Cops said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.

    He was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

    The force said Richard’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

  • MYSTERY OVER HOW RICHARD OKOROGHEYE GOT TO EPPING FOREST

    Richard Okorogheye’s mum, Evidence Joel, has questioned how her 19-year old son, who had sickle cell disease, had been able to travel to Essex, after leaving the family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London.

    She said: “It’s too far for Richard to walk into the darkness alone. How did he get there? We don’t know. I feel something happened there.

    “The forest is massive and scary, it’s a place that one wouldn’t wish to go at night. It was not a very comfortable place to be.”

    The cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out, however the Metropolitan Police found no evidence of physical trauma or assault, the force said.

    Richard's mum was joined by family and friends at Epping Forest
    Richard’s mum was joined by family and friends at Epping ForestCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd

     

  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S MUM ‘RIPPED APART’ BY HIS DEATH

    The devastated mother of Richard Okorogheye has spoken of her heart being “ripped apart” after the student’s body was found in a lake in Epping Forest, Essex.

    Evidence Joel described how her life “is already empty” after police confirmed the body found in a pond in the woodland on Monday was that of her 19-year-old son, who was reported missing two weeks ago.

    Speaking to Sky News, she said: “My heart feels as if it has been ripped apart.

    “I am completely hollow and devastated and empty.

    “Life is already empty, there’s like a cloud just hovering around, it took the sun away from me. What am I going to look forward to? What is there to look forward to again?”

    The last movements of the uni student, captured walking alone on CCTV, but looking behind himself at one stage
    The last movements of the uni student, captured walking alone on CCTV, but looking behind himself at one stageCredit: Enterprise
  • RICHARD’S MUM CERTAIN ‘SOMETHING HAPPENED’ AT EPPING FOREST

    The cause of Richard’s death is pending as further investigations are carried out, but the postmortem found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.

    His death is being treated as unexplained and police do not currently think anyone else was involved.

    His mum, Evidence Joel, said she was “surprised” to hear officers say that.

    “Something happened there. It’s too far for Richard to walk into that darkness alone. You can’t, it’s tedious, it’s darkness.

    “So how did he get there? What happened? We don’t know. I feel something happened there,” she added.

  • RICHARD’S HEARTBROKEN MUM – ‘HOLLOW & EMPTY’

    Richard Okorogheye “will always be my baby and I will always be his mother and no one can take that away from me,” his mum, Evidence Joel, told Sky News.

    Ms Joel said she had visited the site where her son’s body was found to lay flowers and found it a “very uncomfortable place to be”.

    She said: “I wouldn’t want to be there. My son that I know cannot walk into that darkness, no torch, no light. An hour and 30 minutes from where he was last seen. He must have guts to do that. He’s only 19.

    “What could push him to go that far if he wasn’t meeting somebody?”

  • ‘COMPLETELY EMPTY’

    The devastated mum of a 19-year-old boy whose body was found in Epping Forest two weeks after he vanished has today sobbed “my heart has been ripped apart”.

    Richard Okorogheye disappeared after telling his mother he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown.

    Richard’s heartbroken mum Evidence Joel, 39, told Sky News she feels “completely hollow and devastated and empty”.

    She added: “At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure.”

    Ms Joel described Richard as the “perfect child” and said she felt “lucky” to be his mother.

  • MET POLICE COMMENTS ON RICHARD’S DEATH

    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, the force explains.

    It adds; “Formal identification has now taken place and the body has been confirmed as that of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye.

    “Richard went missing from his home in Ladbroke Grove on Monday, 22 March. He was reported missing on Wednesday, 24 March.

    “His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.”

  • EPPING FOREST ‘UNCOMFORTABLE PLACE’ – RICHARD’S MUM

    Epping Forest – where the body of student Richard Okorogheye was found – is ‘very uncomfortable’, says his mum, Evidence Joel.

    The nurse visited the lake where his body was found by police divers, to lay flowers and pray with family and friends.

    She told Sky News today: “It was a very uncomfortable place to be. I wouldn’t want to be there.

    “My son that I know cannot walk into that darkness – no torch, no light.”

    Richard Okorogheye with his mother, Evidence Joel
    Richard Okorogheye with his mother, Evidence JoelCredit: Enterprise
  • RICHARD MUM’S ‘LIFE TORN APART’

    Richard Okorogheye’s heartbroken mum, Evidence Joel, has told Sky News her heart “feels as if it has been ripped apart”.

    The nurse, 39, told the broadcaster today that she feels “completely hollow and devastated and empty”.

    Her comments come after the Metropolitan Police confirmed yesterday that the body found in Essex on Monday was her 19-year-old son.

    “At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure,” she added.

  • BRITS SEND LOVE AND PRAYERS TO RICHARD’S FAMILY

    Kind-hearted Brits have sent their love and prayers to Richard Okorogheye’s grieving family and friends.

    One said: “Very very sad, a young man with a whole life ahead of him, really hoped he was found safe and well, plz [please] pray for his mum, his family and his friends, may they find the strength at this sad time.”

    Another tweeted: “Such awful news. Deep heartfelt condolences to his family.”

    There's been an outpouring of support for the teen's family and friends
    There’s been an outpouring of support for the teen’s family and friends
  • LONDON MAYOR: ‘DEEPEST SYMPATHIES TO RICHARD’S FAMILY’

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has joined others offering their condolences to the family of uni student Richard Okorogheye.

    He tweeted: “Londoners across our city will be holding the family and friends of Richard Okorogheye in our hearts.

    “My deepest sympathies go out to his loved ones at this truly tragic time.”

  • WHEN DID RICHARD OKOROGHEYE GO MISSING?

    The teen said he was going out on Monday, March 22, 2021, and was last seen walking in Kensington, West London, at around 8.40pm.

    His mother returned home from a nursing shift at around 9pm and assumed her son was in his room.

    It was only when she knocked on his door after cooking his favourite dinner that she realised something was wrong.

    After a locksmith helped her gain entry to the bedroom, she found Richard missing with his wallet, bus pass and bank card left behind.

    None of Richard’s friends saw him that night and they hadn’t seen the teen since he disappeared.

    Police searching a pond in Epping Forest for the teen
    Police searching a pond in Epping Forest for the teen
  • WHO WAS RICHARD OKOROGHEYE?

    Richard Okorogheye was a 19-year-old student who attended Oxford Brookes University.

    He told his mum Evidence Joel that he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown after shielding throughout the coronavirus pandemic due to a sickle cell disease.

    As someone with sickle cell disease, the teen would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.

    Sickle cell disease – in which red blood cells are not shaped as they should be – is a serious and lifelong health condition.

  • POLICE CONDUCT AND STANDARDS PROBE AFTER BODY FIND

    As Richard Okorogheye 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.

    The Met Police said these referrals were “a matter of routine”.

    Det Supt 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.”

    A Met Police officer at the scene at the Wake Valley pond in Epping Forest
    A Met Police officer at the scene at the Wake Valley pond in Epping ForestCredit: PA
  • HELP FOR OXFORD BROOKES UNI STUDENTS AFTER RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S BODY FOUND

    Oxford Brookes Uni students affected by the death of fellow undergraduate Richard Okorogheye have been offered help.

    Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt said: “We encourage any students who are affected by this news or who need support for any reason to contact our Wellbeing Services or access 24/7 support via TogetherAll.

    “The University will not be commenting further at this point.”

  • OXFORD BROOKES UNI TO ORGANISE COMMEMORATION FOR RICHARD

    Oxford Brookes University will organise a special tribute for dead student Richard Okorogheye, 19, says its boss.

    Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt said: “When appropriate, and in line with any wishes expressed by Richard’s family, we will arrange a suitable commemoration for Richard.”

    The teen was a first year student on the Computer Science for Cyber Security programme.

    CCTV footage showed that Richard was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back
    CCTV footage showed that Richard was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower backCredit: Enterprise
  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S EPPING FOREST DEATH ‘UNEXPLAINED’

    The Met Police said that Richard Okorogheye’s death is being treated as unexplained.

    But officers do not believe there was any third-party involvement “at this stage”.

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

    The force said the cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out.

  • STUDENT RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S DEATH ‘DEVASTATING NEWS’ – OXFORD BROOKES UNI

    Richard Okorogheye’s death in Epping Forest is “devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community”, says the uni.

    A statement from Vice-Chancellor Prof Alistair Fitt said: “We have received confirmation of the tragic news that Richard Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, has died.

    “Richard was a first year student on the Computer Science for Cyber Security programme.

    “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Richard’s family and friends.

    “This is devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community and we will be reaching out to students and staff to offer them support.”

  • COPS CONFIRM BODY IS MISSING 19-YEAR-OLD STUDENT

    Police have confirmed a body found in Epping Forest is that of missing student Richard Okorogheye following a post-mortem examination.

    The 19-year-old – described by his mum as her “treasure” – had been missing since leaving his family home in west London on the evening of March 22.

    He was a student who attended Oxford Brookes University.

    Above - the timeline before Richard's body was tragically found in Epping Forest
    Above – the timeline before Richard’s body was tragically found in Epping Forest



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