The London Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the body found in a lake in Essex was that of a 19 year-old Nigerian student, Richard Okorogheye.
The body had been found in a pond in Epping Forest on Monday afternoon, 12 days after Okorogheye, who attends Oxford Brookes, was reported missing.
MOkorogheye left his family home on the evening of March 22 in Ladbroke Grove, West London and his mum, Evidence Joel,a nurse reported him missing two days later on March 24.
Investigations revealed that he took a taxi to Loughton, more than 22 kilometers from where he lives.
Before his disappearance, Okorogheye who lives with sickle cell disease had been shielding, meaning he was not expected to leave home and minimise face-to-face contact for health reasons.
Okorogheye’s father Christian who spoke with channels TV, described him as a tall and strong teenager who enjoys talking to his friend.
His father blamed his disappearance on depression following the lockdown and long stay at home.
“He is a tall strong man; he enjoys talking to his friends,” he said. “At a point, he got cut off from his friends. Somehow, it happened that he met some people who we were not 100% sure about.
“It has been very devastating. I don’t know how to describe it but it is serious. All we want to do now is how to get him back and tell us his story.
“Richard has been on some kind of setting at home and I think that got him depressed in some ways. When you keep someone at home for like one month plus, and with all these things happening, it added to it. I think he got really fed up with the whole thing.”
But on 5 April, at approximately 14:01hrs, the Met said they were 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”, Met Police said on their website.
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”, the Met Police said on their website.
A forensic post mortem took place on Wednesday, 7 April.
“The cause of death is pending whilst further investigations are carried out, however it found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.
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”.
The investigation into the circumstances of Richard’s death is ongoing.
Richard was the only child of her mother.