UPDATE (April 7): The Metropolitan Police have confirmd that the body found in a lake in Epping Forest is the 19-year-old missing student Richard Okorogheye.

Following a post-mortem examination that took place on Wednesday, no evidence of physical trauma or assault was found and Richard’s death is currently being treated as “unexplained”.

Speaking with Sky News recently, Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, described her son as “a treasure.” Richard had talked with Ms Joel about his struggling to cope with university and had been shielding during lockdown due to his sickle cell.

“He’s my oxygen,” Ms Joel said. “He’s my crown. He’s everything to me; he’s the reason why I live, the reason I exist.”

May Richard Okorogheye rest in peace.

Original story below.

According to the Metropolitan Police, in the ongoing search for missing Oxford Brookes student Richard Okorogheye, the body of a man has been found in Epping Forest, Essex.

The body was found by Essex police in a pond and the process of formally identifying the body is now underway, although Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, said police had informed her “the description matches his”.

Mr Okorogheye, 19, has sickle cell disease and was last seen by his family on March 22 when he left their home in Ladbroke Grove, West London. Because of his condition, his family have made clear that the only reason Mr Okorogheye would leave the house would be to go to the hospital for regular blood transfusions. However, he did not take his medication with him, or even any money, when he left the family home.

According to police, Mr Okorogheye was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of March 23, walking towards Epping Forest after taking a taxi to a residential street in Loughton, Essex. The police have also said Mr Okorogheye’s phone had not been used since his disappearance.

The investigation has drawn widespread criticism after Ms Joel told Sky News: “I told a police officer that my son was missing, please help me find him, and she said: ‘If you can’t find your son, how do you expect police officers to find your son for you?’”

We will update this story as it develops.