Body found in search for Richard Okorogheye confirmed as missing teen

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A body found in a lake in Epping Forest, Essex, has been formally identified as missing 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye, the Metropolitan Police said.

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

Scotland Yard said the death is being treated as unexplained but officers do not believe there was any third-party involvement "at this stage".

A post mortem carried out on Wednesday found no evidence of physical trauma or assault to Richard's body.

Richard, who had 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.

Richard's family and friends were heartbreakingly pictured laying flowers in the pond where his body was recovered.

Richard's mum Evidence Joel and best friend Hala Mohamed, 18, were among a group that visited the pond in Epping Forest, Essex, MyLondon reports.

The force said the cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out.

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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.

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"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 Oxford Brookes University student had reportedly been struggling to cope with shielding due to Covid-19 for the last year.

It is thought he did not take his daily medication or any money with him before leaving home.

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