THE HEARTBROKEN mum of 'struggling' Oxford Brookes student Richard Okorogheye broke down in tears and said 'my baby's never coming home' after police found a body that matched his description. 

Officers are yet to formally identify the body found in the pond in Epping Forest yesterday afternoon but his mum, Evidence Joel, has paid tribute to her son saying he is the reason she 'wakes up each morning and breathes'. 

READ MORE: body found in search for missing Oxford Brookes student 

The 19-year-old, who started a business and IT undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes University in September, left his home in the Ladbroke Grove area of West London for the last time on the evening of March 22. 

He was reported missing two days later. 

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

But on the night he disappeared he left the house without his medication, wallet or coat and his mum made desperate pleas to the public for help to find him.

Community nurse Ms Joel previously spoke of her son 'struggling to cope' with university pressures and shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In one of the first confirmed sightings on March 22, he was seen boarding the number 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm. 

Oxford Mail: Mr Okorogheye leaft his home address and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove (Metropolitan Police/PA)Mr Okorogheye leaft his home address and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove (Metropolitan Police/PA)

CCTV cameras picked him up in Loughton, Essex, hours later at just after midnight on March 23 - walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest in north-east London. 

Police divers were later spotted searching a body of water in a woodland.

Oxford Mail: Police divers have been searching a body of water in Epping Forest (Metropolitan Police/PA)Police divers have been searching a body of water in Epping Forest (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Writing in an update yesterday, the Metropolitian Police confirmed that a body had been found in the search and Mr Okorogheye’s family had been told.


Speaking to the Evening Standard, Ms Joel wept as she said: “My baby will never come home to his mummy again. I can’t even describe the feeling. He was taken away from me too early. The only child I have. It’s devastating and the last thing I thought I’d hear.”

In a tribute to her son, she continued: “Richard is my moon and sun. He is the reason I wake up each morning and breathe. I worship the ground he walks on.”


Writing on social media, Oxford Brookes University tweeted: “We are aware the police have found the body of a man in Epping Forest. Although the body has yet to be identified, Richard Okorogheye’s family have been informed. Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.”


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