Mum of missing student Richard Okorogheye says ‘every day is a nightmare’

Mum of missing student Richard Okorogheye says ‘every day is a nightmare’

The mum of missing student Richard Okorogheye says her life has become a “complete nightmare” following his disappearance as she urges her son to return home.

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

He was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, Essex, in the early hours of Tuesday March 23, walking towards Epping Forest.

The Metropolitan Police said the search of woodland continued for a fourth day on Sunday but nothing of relevance to the investigation has been found.

Police divers have been deployed and were seen searching areas of water in the woodland in north-east London.

The Metropolitan Police said the search of woodland continued for a fourth day on Sunday but nothing of relevance to the investigation has been found.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, said waiting for information on her son’s whereabouts has been “hell”.

She told the paper: “Every day is a nightmare for me now.

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“I feel completely helpless. Helpless, and also, sorry to use this word, but I feel useless. Because I want to go out there, to do something to look for him, search for him, anything.

“But I can’t”, she said of needing to remain at home in case he makes contact.

She also issued a message to her son, telling him: “Everybody misses you. And we love you very much. We want you home. Please come home.”

Scotland Yard previously said that detectives continue to keep an open mind about the Oxford Brookes University student’s whereabouts.

Initial police inquiries identified Mr Okorogheye, who has sickle cell disease, leaving his home address and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove at around 8.30pm.

In a previously confirmed sighting on Monday March 22, Mr Okorogheye was seen boarding the 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.
Police said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton.

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

On Thursday, the force said Mr Okorogheye’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

Ms Joel previously said that 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.

She told The Guardian the current cold weather, which could cause Mr Okorogheye substantial pain, was a major concern after he didn’t take a jacket when he left home.

Ms Joel added she had no idea as to what could have prompted Mr Okorogheye’s disappearance, and called on his online community of friends to contact police if they have any information.

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