Police searching for missing teen Richard Okorogheye find body in Epping Forest

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Police investigating the disappearance of missing teenager Richard Okorogheye have found a body.

Detectives from Essex Police found the body of a man in a pond in Epping Forest with enquiries underway to identify the body.

Richard's family are being supported by specially trained officers and are being kept updated on developments, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.

The 19-year-old student has not been seen by his family since March 22 when he left their home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London.

Richard, who has sickle cell disease, boarded a bus before taking a taxi to Loughton, Essex, and he was last seen in CCTV footage recorded near Epping Forest.

Officers have been searching the forest for days with specialist divers also involved.

He had been struggling to cope with shielding due to Covid-19 for the last year and it is thought he did not take his daily medication or any money with him before leaving.

Richard, who attends Oxford Brookes University, was dressed all in black with a white Adidas logo across his lower back, and had a black satchel bag when he disappeared.

Detectives said there had not been any activity on his phone since he went missing.

Richard's mum Evidence Joel said he had never mentioned Loughton before and believes he went to "meet somebody".

She said: "Someone was waiting for Richard."

Ms Joel added she "most definitely" thought he had met somebody online because she heard him laughing while playing with PlayStation 5 and being "very happy" while talking to someone.

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A Met Police spokesman said: "On the afternoon of Monday, 5 April, the Met was informed by colleagues from Essex Police that the body of a man had been found in a pond in Epping Forest.

"Enquiries are underway to identify the body.

"Detectives investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye are aware. Richard’s family are being supported by specially trained officers and kept updated with developments."

Sickle cell disease affects how red blood cells work in the body.

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