Police Appeal For Help Finding Missing Uni Student, Richard Okorogheye
The Met Police has launched an appeal to help find missing university student, Richard Okorogheye.
19-year-old Richard was last seen walking on Kensal Road on the evening of Monday, March 22, heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove W10 at approximately 8.30pm. Before leaving his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area, Richard had informed his mum that he was planning to visit a friend.
The teenager, who studies business and IT at Oxford Brookes University, hasn’t been heard from since,. Officers are now ‘becoming increasingly concerned’ for his welfare, and are asking members of the public for their assistance.
In a press release, Chief Inspector Clare McCarthy of the Met’s Central West Command Unit said:
Our officers have been working tirelessly to locate Richard, using all investigative opportunities and data enquires, speaking with witnesses and trawling CCTV.
We are following every lead possible and are appealing for the public to help us in our work. If you may have seen Richard, please contact police.
If Richard is safe and well, we ask him to contact us as a matter of urgency so that we can put his family’s minds at ease.
It’s understood that Richard is known to frequent the areas of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham as well as Ladbroke Grove.
Speaking with Sky News, Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, said that he had been ‘struggling to cope’ with shielding during the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard suffers from sickle cell disease and had been shielding since March 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. It’s feared that he could have been suffering from depression.
Ms Joel said:
It’s my baby, it’s my treasure. He’s my oxygen, he’s my crown. He’s everything to me, he’s the reason why I live, the reason I exist.
Right now I’m empty, there is nothing to look forward to. He’s taken my breath away from me.
Richard’s father Newton Okorogheye has criticised the way the police have handled the case, claiming that they had not been ‘taken seriously’ following Richard’s disappearance, as per Sky News.
Mr Okorogheye has stated that his son was not considered ‘high risk’, despite his health condition, until he had already been missing for six days:
I told a police officer that my son was missing, please help me find him, and she said ‘if you can’t find your son, how do you expect police officers to find your son for you?’ […] I was expecting assurance. My son was missing and it broke my heart.
Those with you any information about the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye are advised to contact police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134. In an emergency please call 999.
Information can also be given to the charity Missing People.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
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Kensington & Chelsea Police/Twitter