Police focus on Essex after discovery of student Richard Okorogheye | Essex
Police investigating the disappearance of student Richard Okorogheye are conducting searches in Essex after a new confirmed sighting last placed him in the area.
Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of the 19-year-old in Loughton in the early hours of Tuesday March 23.
Oxford Brookes University student Okorogheye 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.
After an initial investigation, he was identified as having left his home and heading towards Ladbroke Grove around 8:30 p.m.
In a previously confirmed sighting on Monday, March 22, Okorogheye was seen boarding the 23 southbound bus at Ladbroke Grove at 8:44 p.m.
Police said further investigations established that he then took a taxi from London’s W2 area to a residential street in Loughton, Essex. He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12:39 p.m. on Tuesday March 23.
The Met said detectives were working around the clock to trace its next steps after the sighting and had started research in and around the forest, as well as door-to-door investigations. They also worked alongside specialist search teams and fellow Essex Police.
Okorogheye’s mother Evidence Joel previously said her son spoke of “struggling to cope” with academic pressure and shielded him during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As a sickle cell sufferer, Okorogheye only left home to go to the hospital for regular blood transfusions due to his condition.
DCI Nicki Beecher, of the Met’s West Zone Public Protection Unit, said: “It has been nine days since Richard was last seen in person and we remain as determined as ever to locate him and take him home to his family.
Beecher added: “I would like once again to renew our appeal to the public for any information that may assist us in our investigations. If you may have seen Richard – particularly in the Loughton area – or have any information, please contact the police. “
Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134.