Richard Okorogheye: police search for missing student extends to Essex – here’s what we know

Police are now searching Epping Forest for Richard Okorogheye

The search for missing student Richard Okorogheye has been extended to Essex, the Met Police has said.

The 19-year-old went missing after leaving his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of London on March 22.

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Police have now released CCTV images of the 19-year-old in Loughton in the early hours of Tuesday March 23.

Richard Okorogheye went missing on March 22 (Met Police)

He could be seen making his way towards Epping Forest at Epping Forest at 12:39am.

What have police said?

Detective Chief Inspector Nicki Beecher, from the Met’s Area West Public Protection Unit, said: “It has now been nine days since Richard was last seen in person and we remain as committed as ever to locating him and bringing him home to his family.

“Our officers are working extremely hard to piece together the facts in order to build a picture of Richard’s movements on the evening of Monday March 22.

“Latest information suggests he was last seen in Loughton in Essex and we are now focusing our attention here, with specialist search officers from across the Met brought in to assist.

“Our enquiries also continue in the Ladbroke Grove, W10 area where local officers have been carrying out search patrols and also community patrols to gather information from local residents.

“I would once again like to renew our appeal to the public for any information which may assist with our enquiries.

“If you may have seen Richard – particularly in the Loughton area – or have any information at all, please contact police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134.

Mother issues plea

On Tuesday night his mother issued a plea for Richard to return.

Issued by police the statement said: “Richard we love you and miss you very much, please can you come home? We aren’t angry at you. We just want to know that you’re okay.

“For anyone reading this, we are desperately missing our son. If you know anything or know where he might be, please come forward and speak to the police.”

What do we know about Richard’s disappearance?

Mr Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22, and was reported missing two days later.

Initial enquiries identified him leaving his home address and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove at around 8.30pm.

In a previously confirmed sighting on Monday March 22, Mr Okorogheye was seen boarding the 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm.

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back.

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

He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest at 12:39am on Tuesday March 23.

His mother Evidence Joel previously said that the Oxford Brookes University student had spoken of “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown.

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