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UK Police search Epping Forest for Nigerian student who has been missing for more than a week

A desperate search for a Nigerian student who has been missing for more than a week has been extended to Epping Forest after new CCTV sighting in Essex.

RichardOkorogheye, a 19-year-old student at Oxford Brookes University, hasn’t been seen since he left home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday, March, 22, and was last seen boarding a bus.

His mother, Nurse Evidence Joel said her son, who had been shielding during the pandemic due to having sickle cell disease, had struggled with his online studies.

According to her, Richard left home at about 8.30 pm saying he was going to meet a friend but left his wallet, jacket, and medication behind. 

“All he said to me was ‘mummy, I’m going to see my friend’. I trusted him, I had no doubt or no reason to ask him further questions,” she said.

Earlier today, police released new CCTV images of Richard, which shows wearing all black and had a black satchel-bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back. 

He was also seen boarding the number 23 bus southbound in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44 pm on Monday, March, 22. It is unknown which stop he got off at.

Police have now revealed that he was seen in the area of Epping Forest hours later – and before he was reported missing.

Authorities have also established that Richard took a taxi to Loughton in Essex. They said he was captured on CCTV walking alone along Smarts Lane, Loughton towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday morning, March 30.

The Met said detectives are working around the clock to trace his next steps after this sighting and had begun searches in and around the forest as well as carrying out door-to-door enquiries.

According to the Sun. the officials are also working alongside specialist search teams and colleagues from Essex Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicki Beecher, from the Met’s Area West Public Protection Unit, 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, March 22.

“Latest information suggests he was last seen in Loughton in Essex and we are now focusing our attention here, with specialist search officers from across the Met brought in to assist.

“Our enquiries also continue in the Ladbroke Grove, W10 area where local officers have been carrying out search patrols and also community patrols to gather information from local residents.

“I would once again like to renew our appeal to the public for any information which may assist with our enquiries.

“If you may have seen Richard – particularly in the Loughton area – or have any information at all, please contact police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134.

Richard’s mum Evidence Joel, believe he is being “held against his will” as he didn’t even take a jacket or his vital medication.

She has pleaded with him to come home.

She said: “Richard, we love you and miss you very much, please can you come home.

“We aren’t angry at you. We just want to know that you’re okay.

“For anyone reading this, we are desperately missing our son. If you know anything or know where he might be, please come forward and speak to the police.”

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