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Richard Okorogheye: Mum says she feels ‘ripped apart’ by his death


Evidence Joel said the news has left her feeling ‘completely hollow and devastated and empty’ (Picture: PA/Sky News)

The mother of Richard Okorogheye has said her heart ‘has been ripped apart’ after the body found in a lake in Epping Forest was confirmed as his.

Evidence Joel said the news last night left her feeling ‘completely hollow and devastated and empty’.

She told Sky News: ‘At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure.’

Mr Okorogheye went missing after leaving his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday, March 22.

Richard Okorogheye: Mum says she feels 'ripped apart' by his death

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Scotland Yard said they were informed by Essex Police on Monday that the body of a man was found in a pond in the woodland.

Following a post-mortem examination on Wednesday, police said the body has been confirmed as that of Mr Okorogheye.

The family of the student are being supported by specialist officers.

Mr Okorogheye went missing after leaving his family home in west London on March 22 (Picture: PA)

His death is being treated as unexplained and police do not believe at this stage that there was any third-party involvement.

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

Specialist teams remain in parts of Epping Forest as they continue to carry out further searches.

Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling 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.’

Responding to the news, Home Secretary Priti Patel said her ‘thoughts and prayers’ were with the family of Mr Okorogheye and that she was in contact with Scotland Yard as inquiries into his death continue.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Richard Okorogheye.

‘My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police who continue their inquiries into his tragic death.’

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