Richard Okorogheye: appeal for help find 'struggling' London student

A London mother is seeking help to find her son who has been missing for over a week.

Student Richard Okorogheye, 19, who has sickle cell disease, said he was “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during lockdown, according to his mother, Evidence Joel.

The Metropolitan police said officers were becoming increasingly concerned about the teenager who was believed to have left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on 22 March. He was reported missing on 24 March.

Joel told the MyLondon website: “Richard has never done anything like this. Something has gone wrong.” He would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.

Joel recalled him saying he was going to visit a friend, although none of them had seen him, telling her to drive safe and that he would “see me later”, she told the website.

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.

The teenager was last seen leaving his home and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove, west London, on 22 March at approximately 8.30pm, police said. Officers added that he was known to frequent London’s Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham areas.

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 inquiries, 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.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting 21MIS008134, or they can call 999 in an emergency.

They could also go online at https://www.missingpeople.org.uk to pass any information on to the charity Missing People.

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