Breaking Epping Essex LONDON Loughton

Police search for missing Richard Okorogheye continues in Epping Forest and surrounding areas

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye have released CCTV footage of his last known sighting as searches for the 19-year-old student continue at pace.

A range of specialist search officers as well as colleagues from the dog unit and Mounted Branch continue their search in and around Epping Forest in Loughton.

Richard, who studies at Oxford Brookes University, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of Kensington on the evening of Monday, 22 March. He was reported missing on Wednesday, 24 March.

Initial enquiries identified Richard leaving his home and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove, W10 on 22 March at approximately 8.30pm

Richard was then seen boarding the 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.

Further enquires have established that Richard then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton, Essex. He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards the area of Nursery Road and Epping Forest at 00:39hrs on Tuesday, 23 March.

Police are continuing to focus their search for Richard in and around the Epping Forest area, as well as releasing CCTV footage showing his last known movements in the early hours of 23 March.

Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling, Head of the Met’s Central West Public Protection unit, said: “Our search for Richard is continuing at pace today – we are doing all that we can to locate him and bring him home to his family, who miss him dearly.

“Officers have been working tirelessly behind the scenes in an effort to trace Richard’s movements that evening, with assistance from specialist search teams, the Met’s dog and Mounted Branch units and colleagues from other police forces. I have a lot of officers who have requested to stay with the investigation over the Easter weekend, I have a teenage son myself and this strikes a chord. We all want to carry on and all our hopes are that we can reunite Richard with his family.

“Today’s searches are focused mainly in and around the Epping Forest area and local residents will notice an increased police presence while we carry out our enquiries. We have also been making door-to-door enquiries and leafletting the Smarts Lane area.

“The support from the public so far has been amazing so thank you. I am asking everyone to please watch the CCTV we have released – do you recognise Richard or have any information that may help with our enquiries? Please check doorbell cams and dash cam footage and get in touch. No detail is too small.

”At this stage we don’t know why Richard has come to Loughton, there is no clear reason, but we hope our enquiries will help us find out why. Again if you can help with any information about this please contact us.”

Officer can be reached on 101 quoting 21MIS008134. In an emergency please call 999.