A referral has been made to the Met Police watchdog ‘as a matter of routine’ regarding the death of Richard Okorogheye.
The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have been made aware, as the student had been reported missing prior to his body being found.
An IOPC spokesperson said: ‘We will be assessing whether any possible future IOPC involvement is required.
‘Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.’
Richard, 19, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday March 22.
He was reported missing the following Wednesday and his body was found in a lake in Epping Forest, Essex, on Monday.
His death is being treated as unexplained and police do not believe at this stage that there was any third-party involvement.
The cause of death is pending while further investigations are carried out, however the Metropolitan Police found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.
His mother Evidence Joel described how her life ‘is already empty’ after hearing the news.
She questioned how her son, who has sickle cell disease, had been able to travel to Essex.
‘It’s too far for Richard to walk into the darkness alone,’ she said. ‘How did he get there? We don’t know. I feel something happened there.
‘The forest is massive and scary, it’s a place that one wouldn’t wish to go at night.’
She previously said her son had spoken of ‘struggling to cope’ with university pressures and had been shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As someone with sickle cell disease, Richard would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.
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