Police release new pictures from the night student Richard Okorogheye went missing as his mother tells him: ‘We aren’t angry at you, we just want to know you’re okay’
- The Met issued CCTV from the night the 19-year-old was last seen over week ago
- Richard Okorogheye is believed to have left home in west London on March 22
- Mother Evidence Joel said Oxford Brookes student had been ‘struggling to cope’
- With sickle cell disease, Mr Okorogheye would only leave home to go to hospital
Detectives have released new images of missing student Richard Okorogheye as the teenager’s mother pleads for the public’s help with the investigation.
The Metropolitan Police renewed its appeal for information as it issued CCTV pictures from the night the 19-year-old was last seen over a week ago.
Mr Okorogheye is believed to have left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of March 22 and was reported missing two days later.
His mother Evidence Joel previously said the Oxford Brookes University student 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.
The Metropolitan Police renewed its appeal for information as it issued CCTV images from the night the 19-year-old (pictured) was last seen over a week ago
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Okorogheye was when he was seen boarding the 23 southbound bus in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm
CCTV footage showed the student wearing an all-black outfit and carrying across his lower back a black satchel-bag featuring a white Adidas logo
The Met said he left his home and headed in the direction of Ladbroke Grove on March 22 at approximately 8.30pm.
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Okorogheye was when he was seen boarding the 23 southbound bus in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm.
CCTV footage showed the student wearing an all-black outfit and carrying across his lower back a black satchel-bag featuring a white Adidas logo.
Police said it was unknown at which stop Mr Okorogheye got off the bus, adding he was known to frequent London’s Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham areas.
Ms Joel previously told MyLondon her son had ‘never done anything like this’, adding: ‘Something has gone wrong.’
In a new statement on Tuesday, 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.’
Ms Joel previously said she recalled the teenager saying he was going to visit a friend, although none of them have seen him, telling her to drive safe and that he would ‘see me later’.
She returned home from a nursing shift at around 9pm and assumed he was in his room.
She cooked him a meal but found he was not there when she knocked on his door and he did not answer his telephone.
The alarm was raised after a locksmith helped her gain entry to the room which was empty but Richard’s wallet, bus pass and bank card were left behind.
Yesterday Ms Joel told how police said ‘if you can’t find your son, how do you expect us to?’ when she went to them for help.
Ms Joel, a nurse, said when she phoned police to report him missing and suggested they check CCTV near their home she was told they did not have the resources.
‘[An officer] said: ‘If you can’t find your son, how do you expect police officers to find your son for you?’ Miss Joel said. ‘I was expecting assurance. My son was missing and it broke my heart.’
Family friend Claudine Rose added: ‘We just felt like initially, it wasn’t taken seriously enough.
‘His mum was going into the police station every day and they hadn’t put posters up or anything.’
Richard Okorogheye, 19, who has been shielding during the pandemic due to having sickle cell disease, was last seen on Monday, March 22, at about 8.30pm
Miss Joel told Sky News she feared he had been groomed online by someone who was holding him against his will.
Miss Rose said: ‘He’s found the isolation very difficult, not being able to see his friends and start at university like normal.’
Detective chief Inspector Nicki Beecher, from the Met’s Area West Public Protection Unit, said: ‘Our officers are continuing to work around the clock to locate Richard and bring him home to his worried family.
‘We are keen to speak with anyone who may have been around Ladbroke Grove at the time of Richard’s last known sighting as captured above – you might be able to help us trace his next steps.
‘If you may have seen Richard, please contact police, no detail is too insignificant.
‘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.’
Scotland Yard said the Met ‘is committed to providing the best possible service to families of missing people’ and that all available resources are being used to look for Mr Okorogheye.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134, or they can call 999 in an emergency.
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