On Monday, April 5th, at approximately 2p.m., the Metro Police Department was informed by colleagues from Essex Police that the body of a man had been found in a lake in Epping Forest.
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, March 22nd. He was reported missing on Wednesday, March 24th.
His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
Richard’s death is being treated as unexplained and police do not believe, at this stage, that there was any third-party involvement. A forensic post mortem took place on Wednesday, April 7th. The cause of death is pending whilst further investigations are carried out, however it found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.
As a matter of routine, as Richard 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.
Detective Superintendent 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.”
The investigation into the circumstances of Richard’s death is ongoing.
Specialist search teams remain in parts of Epping Forest, Loughton as they continue to carry out further searches as part of the investigation.
Initial enquiries identified Richard leaving his home and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove, W10 on 22 March at approximately 20:30hrs.
He was then seen boarding the 23 bus in Ladbroke Grove, heading southbound at 20:44hrs.
Further enquires have established that Richard then took a taxi journey from west London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex. He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards the area of Nursery Road and Epping Forest at 12:39a.m. on Tuesday, March 23rd.
This was the last confirmed sighting of Richard.