Richard Okorogheye’s mum says he was ‘lured’ to death and didn’t kill himself

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The mum of tragic teenager Richard Okorogheye has said she doesn’t think her son took his own life.

Evidence Joel said she believes her son, whose dead body was found in a pond, was "lured in to do something".

Richard, 19, went missing after leaving his home in Ladbroke Grove, west London on March 22.

The student’s body was discovered in Epping Forest, Essex on Monday, April 5.

His mum told the BBC: "I don’t think Richard would take his life.

"Why? He loved life. He had plans, he had aspirations. Why would he want to do that, if at all he planned to do that?

"I don’t believe so. Richard can’t do that. He knows how much we all loved him and cared for him, he knows that we avail ourselves to him."

She added: "I just feel strongly that somehow Richard was lured in to do something. Richard was lured in to follow someone, to meet somebody."

Evidence said she had visited the forest in the day and found it terrifying.

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She urged anyone with information to come forward and "bring justice to whoever is responsible for Richard’s death".

It would help put the puzzles together and find out the cause of his death, she added.

The Metropolitan Policeconfirmed on Wednesday the body has been formally identified as Richard.

His death is being treated as unexplained and the force does not currently believe there was any third party involvement.

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A forensic post mortem found no evidence of physical trauma or assault, although the cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out.

Richard, who had sickle cell disease, boarded a bus before taking a taxi to Loughton, Essex.

He was last seen in CCTV footage recorded near Epping Forest.

The Oxford Brookes University student told his mum he had been struggling with his Business and IT degree.

He had been shielding since March 2020 due to his sickle cell anaemia.

Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling 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."

  • Family
  • Missing Person
  • Police

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