The case of Richard Okorogheye, missing and later found dead in Epping Forest, has sparked national attention and criticism of the UK police’s treatment of Black people and minorities.
The disappearance of Richard Okorogheye, a 19-year-old Nigerian student, sparked a nationwide search in the UK.
He was reported missing on March 22, 2021, after he left his home in Ladbroke Grove, West London, on the evening of March 22. His body was found in Epping Forest on April 5, 2021, and the circumstances of his death have raised many questions.
The case of Richard Okorogheye has brought renewed attention to the issue of Police treatment of Black people and other minorities in the UK. The Police have been accused of systemic racism and bias, and there have been calls for sweeping reforms to address these issues.
Richard Okorogheye Missing: What Happened?
Richard Okorogheye, who was missing, was last seen on CCTV footage leaving his home in Ladbroke Grove, West London, on the evening of March 22, 2021.
He was wearing all black, including a black puffa jacket, and was carrying a black backpack. He was later seen on CCTV footage boarding a bus in Ladbroke Grove, which took him to Loughton, Essex, where he was last seen on CCTV footage walking towards Epping Forest.
A nationwide search was launched for Richard, involving the Police, the public, and volunteers. The search lasted two weeks before Richard’s body was found in Epping Forest on April 5, 2021.
Did Richard Okorogheye Kill Himself? Suicide or Murder
The circumstances of Richard Okorogheye’s death have raised many questions about whether his death was a suicide or murder.
The Police initially said they were not treating his death as suspicious but later said they were keeping an open mind. A post-mortem examination was carried out, but the cause of death was inconclusive.
The Police later said that they were treating Richard’s death as murder and launched a murder investigation. They said that they were keeping an open mind about the motive for the murder and that they were following several lines of inquiry.
However, in June 2021, the Police announced that they were no longer treating Richard’s death as murder and that they believed that he had taken his own life.
They said they had found no evidence of any third-party involvement in his death and that the evidence suggested that he had been in the forest for some time before his body was found.
Okorogheye Family Rejects Apology From Met Police
The Met Police apologized to Richard’s family in August 2021 for not treating his disappearance as a high-risk missing person case from the outset.
The Met Police’s apology followed an independent review of the Police’s handling of Richard’s case, which found that the Police had not followed some of their procedures and guidelines.
In a statement released on June 11, 2021, the Metropolitan Police apologized to Richard’s family for any failings in the investigation. The statement acknowledged that the investigation had not met the “high standards” expected by the public and that the Police had “let Richard and his family down.”
The statement was accompanied by a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which found that the Police had made “no meaningful progress” in the first four days of the investigation and that there were “shortcomings and gaps” in the Police response.
However, Richard’s family has rejected the apology, saying it is too late in a statement released on June 14, 2021.