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Richard Okorogheye latest – Met cops referred to police watchdog over student’s death as mum’s heart ‘ripped apart’


MET cops have been referred to a police watchdog as a “matter of routine” over the death of Oxford student Richard Okorogheye.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have been notified after the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

A spokesperson for the IOPC yesterday said: “We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.

“Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

It comes as Richard’s devastated mum says her heart has been “ripped apart” by cops finding his body in an Epping Forest pond.

Evidence Joel described how her life “is already empty” after police confirmed the body found in the Essex woodland on Monday was that of her 19-year-old son.

Richard, 19, disappeared two weeks ago after taking a taxi from his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London to Loughton in Essex having told his mum he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “My heart feels as if it has been ripped apart. I am completely hollow and devastated and empty.

“Life is already empty, there’s like a cloud just hovering around, it took the sun away from me. What am I going to look forward to? What is there to look forward to again?”

The tragic teenager’s death is being treated as unexplained and police do not currently believe there was any third-party involvement.

They confirmed his exact cause of death is still “pending”.

Follow our live blog below for the latest Richard Okorogheye updates…

  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S MUM & FRIENDS ‘KNEEL BY EPPING LAKE’

    Heartbroken family and friends of Richard Okorogheye have knelt in prayer beside the Epping Forest lake where the 19-year-old’s body was tragically found.

    They shared words of prayer before laying flowers by the water, reports Essex Live.

    Richard’s bereaved mum, Evidence Joel, 39, was comforted by family and her son’s friends as she broke down in tears at the scene, the website adds.

    The group also poured water into the lake, as they paid tribute to the Oxford Brookes student.

    The Mirror reports that Evidence, a nurse, was wearing a black coat and a blue face mask. Photos taken at the scene show police supporting the group.

  • REFERRAL TO POLICE STANDARDS OFFICE MADE AS A ‘MATTER OF ROUTINE’ AFTER RICHARD REPORTED MISSING

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

    An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.

    “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

    Mr Okorogheye left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22.

    He was reported missing the following Wednesday.

  • PRITI PATEL OFFERS CONDOLENCES TO RICHARD’S FAMILY

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said her “thoughts and prayers” were with the family of Richard Okorogheye and that she was in contact with Scotland Yard as inquiries into the 19-year-old’s death continue.

    She wrote on Twitter: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Richard Okorogheye.

    “My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

    “I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police who continue their inquiries into his tragic death.”

  • RICHARD’S LAST MOVEMENTS

    Mr Okorogheye left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London at around 8.30pm on Monday March 22.

    He was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

    He was reported missing the following Wednesday.

    His death is being treated as unexplained and police do not believe at this stage that there was any third-party involvement.

    The cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out, however the Metropolitan Police found no evidence of physical trauma or assault, the force said.

  • RICHARD’S PHONE HAD NOT BEEN USED SINCE DISAPPEARANCE AS INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE

    Richard Okorogheye left his family home at around 8.30pm on March 22 and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove.

    Cops said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.

    He was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

    The force said Richard’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

  • WATCH: MUM SOBS AS SHE SAYS HER HEART HAS BEEN LEFT BROKEN AFTER SON RICHARD OKOROGHEYE, 19, FOUND DEAD

    Mum sobs as she says her heart has been left broken after son Richard Okorogheye, 19, found dead
  • RICHARD’S MOTHER ALSO RAISING MONEY TO CREATE SICKLE CELL DISEASE FOUNDATION

    The family are also raising funds to create a foundation to help those with sickle cell disease, an umbrella term for inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells, of which Mr Okorogheye was a sufferer.

    Ms Joel said: “There has to be awareness and for it to be treated as a serious disease.

    “If we can use Richard’s name to bring more awareness then so be it.

    “A lot of people out there have a condition where they don’t have a voice, the public and society need to know what sickle cell is.”

    Ms Joel said her son had spoken of “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown.

  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S MOTHER HOPES TO BUILD MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION IN HIS NAME

    Richard Okorogheye’s mother hopes to build a foundation in his name to support sufferers of sickle cell disease and young people with their mental health, after her son “struggled to cope” during lockdown.

    Evidence Joel has thanked the public for donating to a fundraiser, set up by her cousin Blessing Okorji, to cover funeral costs and to build a memorial bench near where Mr Okorogheye was found.

    Police confirmed a body found in a lake in Epping Forest, Essex, on Monday was that of the 19-year-old student, who was reported missing two weeks ago.

    The appeal on GoFundMe has raised more than £3,000 of its £5,000 target within three hours of the fundraiser being set up on Thursday.

    Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Joel said: “It’s amazing, I didn’t expect this at all. It’s incredible, I appreciate everyone and those who are contributing for Richard. His funeral is coming and any help and prayers we appreciate.”

  • MAYOR OF LONDON STATEMENT ON RICHARD’S DEATH

    Sadiq Khan last night tweeted his “deepest sympathies” to Richard’s friends and family.

    The Mayor of London posted: “Londoners across our city will be holding the family and friends of Richard Okorogheye in our hearts tonight.

    “My deepest sympathies go out to his loved ones at this truly tragic time.”

  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S MUM & FRIENDS ‘KNEEL BY EPPING LAKE’

    Heartbroken family and friends of Richard Okorogheye have knelt in prayer beside the Epping Forest lake where the 19-year-old’s body was tragically found.

    They shared words of prayer before laying flowers by the water, reports Essex Live.

    Richard’s bereaved mum, Evidence Joel, 39, was comforted by family and her son’s friends as she broke down in tears at the scene, the website adds.

    The group also poured water into the lake, as they paid tribute to the Oxford Brookes student.

    The Mirror reports that Evidence, a nurse, was wearing a black coat and a blue face mask. Photos taken at the scene show police supporting the group.

  • STUDENT RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S DEATH ‘DEVASTATING NEWS’ – OXFORD BROOKES UNI

    Richard Okorogheye’s death in Epping Forest is “devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community”, says the uni.

    A statement from Vice-Chancellor Prof Alistair Fitt said: “We have received confirmation of the tragic news that Richard Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, has died.

    “Richard was a first year student on the Computer Science for Cyber Security programme.

    “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Richard’s family and friends.

    “This is devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community and we will be reaching out to students and staff to offer them support.”

  • TIMELINE: POLICE FIND BODY IN HUNT FOR MISSING STUDENT

  • COPS CONFIRM BODY IS MISSING 19-YEAR-OLD STUDENT

    Police have confirmed a body found in Epping Forest is that of missing student Richard Okorogheye following a post-mortem examination.

    The 19-year-old – described by his mum as her “treasure” – had been missing since leaving his family home in west London on the evening of March 22.

    He was a student who attended Oxford Brookes University.

  • REFERRAL TO POLICE STANDARDS OFFICE MADE AS A ‘MATTER OF ROUTINE’ AFTER RICHARD REPORTED MISSING

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

    An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.

    “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

    Mr Okorogheye left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22.

    He was reported missing the following Wednesday.

  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S MUM & FRIENDS ‘KNEEL BY EPPING LAKE’

    Heartbroken family and friends of Richard Okorogheye have knelt in prayer beside the Epping Forest lake where the 19-year-old’s body was tragically found.

    They shared words of prayer before laying flowers by the water, reports Essex Live.

    Richard’s bereaved mum, Evidence Joel, 39, was comforted by family and her son’s friends as she broke down in tears at the scene, the website adds.

    The group also poured water into the lake, as they paid tribute to the Oxford Brookes student.

    The Mirror reports that Evidence, a nurse, was wearing a black coat and a blue face mask. Photos taken at the scene show police supporting the group.

    Credit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S CAUSE OF DEATH ‘STILL PENDING’ SAY POLICE AS FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE

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

    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.”

  • RICHARD’S DEATH HAS LEFT ‘MASSIVE HOLE’ SAYS HIS MOTHER

    Richard Okorogheye’s grief-stricken mum says she feels ‘broken’ and ’empty’ after her 19-year-old son’s body was found in an Epping Forest lake.

    A ‘devastated’ and clearly shocked Evidence Joel, 39, told BBC News: “I still expect Richard to walk through that door and say ‘mummy sorry my phone battery went out’, or ‘I lost my phone’, or he doesn’t have any money to find his way.”

    “I’m still expecting that. It’s a big hole, a massive hole that can never be covered again.

    “Especially learning that maybe he won’t walk through that door anymore. My baby will never walk through that door again, to see and embrace… oh Richard,” cried the overwhelmed mum on TV.

  • RICHARD’S PHONE HAD NOT USED SINCE DISAPPEARANCE AS INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE

    Richard Okorogheye left his family home at around 8.30pm on March 22 and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove.

    Cops said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex.

    He was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, walking alone on Smarts Lane towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

    The force said Richard’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

  • RICHARD’S DEATH TREATED AS ‘UNEXPLAINED’ AS POLICE BELIEVE NO THIRD PARTY INVOLVEMENT

    The Met Police 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 took place on Wednesday and found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.

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

    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.”

  • BLACK LIVES MATTER UK: ‘RIP RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’

    The official BLMUK account said: “Devastating news.

    “Our hearts go out to Richards family and friends who have to experience this tragic loss.

    “RIP Richard Okorogheye.”

  • STUDENT RICHARD OKOROGHEYE’S DEATH ‘DEVASTATING NEWS’ – OXFORD BROOKES UNI

    Richard Okorogheye’s death in Epping Forest is “devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community”, says the uni.

    A statement from Vice-Chancellor Prof Alistair Fitt said: “We have received confirmation of the tragic news that Richard Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, has died.

    “Richard was a first year student on the Computer Science for Cyber Security programme.

    “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Richard’s family and friends.

    “This is devastating news for the Oxford Brookes community and we will be reaching out to students and staff to offer them support.”

  • TIMELINE: POLICE FIND BODY IN HUNT FOR MISSING STUDENT

  • RICHARD’S MUM, FAMILY & FRIENDS VISIT EPPING FOREST

    Evidence Joel, the bereaved mum of tragic Richard Okorogheye, has visited Epping Forest to pray and lay flowers in a touching farewell.

    She laid flowers at the lake where the 19-year-old’s body was found in Essex.

    The 19-year-old  was described by his mum as her "treasure"
    The 19-year-old was described by his mum as her “treasure”Credit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
    'He's my oxygen, he's my crown. He's everything to me', said his mum
    ‘He’s my oxygen, he’s my crown. He’s everything to me’, said his mumCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • REFERRAL TO POLICE STANDARDS OFFICE MADE AS A ‘MATTER OF ROUTINE’ AFTER RICHARD REPORTED MISSING

    Police said a referral has been made to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) “as a matter of routine”, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.

    An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.

    “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

    Mr Okorogheye left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22.

    He was reported missing the following Wednesday.

  • RICHARD’S MOTHER LEFT ‘COMPLETELY EMPTY’

    The devastated mum of a 19-year-old boy whose body was found in Epping Forest two weeks after he vanished has today sobbed “my heart has been ripped apart”.

    Richard Okorogheye disappeared after telling his mother he was “struggling to cope” with lockdown.

    Richard’s heartbroken mum Evidence Joel, 39, told Sky News she feels “completely hollow and devastated and empty”.

    She added: “At this moment of time I just want answers as how my son lost his life. I want answers. I desperately need closure.”

    Ms Joel described Richard as the “perfect child” and said she felt “lucky” to be his mother.



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