Richard Okorogheye: New confirmed sighting of missing London student as police search forest in Essex

Police investigating the disappearance of student Richard Okorogheye have been carrying out searches in Epping Forest, Essex, after a new confirmed sighting of him nearby.

Latest enquires have established he took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton.

Officers have now begun combing the forest as well as carrying out door-to-door enquiries in the area.

Mr Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday 22 March, and was reported missing two days later.

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

And the Metropolitan Police has now released those CCTV images of the 19-year-old in Loughton.

After leaving his home address at about 8.30pm on 22 March, Mr Okorogheye was seen boarding a number 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm.

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back.

The Met said detectives were working around the clock to trace his next steps after the Loughton sighting and had begun searches in and around the forest.

They were also working alongside specialist search teams from Essex Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicki Beecher said: "It has now been nine days since Richard was last seen in person and we remain as committed as ever to locating him and bringing him home to his family.

"Our officers are working extremely hard to piece together the facts in order to build a picture of Richard’s movements on the evening of Monday 22 March.

"Latest information suggests he was last seen in Loughton in Essex and we are now focusing our attention here."

Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, previously said her son had spoken of "struggling to cope" with university pressures and had been shielding during the COVID-19 lockdown.

As someone with sickle cell disease, Mr Okorogheye would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.

Ms Joel told Sky News he had left without his medication, a jacket or any money and his disappearance was highly out of character.

People with any information are asked to call police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134

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