Richard Okorogheye Missing: Did He Kill Himself? Suicide or Murder: The missing and eventual death of Richard Okorogheye in Epping Forest has sparked national notice and criticism of the UK police’s treatment of Black people and minorities.
Richard Okorogheye a 19-year-old Nigerian student went missing prompting a national search in the United Kingdom.
On March 22 2021, he was reported missing after leaving his residence in Ladbroke Grove West London on the evening of March 22. On April 5 2021 his body was discovered in Epping Forest and the events surrounding his death have raised many questions.
The case of Richard Okorogheye has renewed focus on the problem of police treatment of Black people and other minorities in the United Kingdom. The police have been accused of systemic racism and bias prompting calls for broad reforms to address these problems.
Richard Okorogheye Missing: What Happened?
Richard Okorogheye who was missing was last seen exiting his home in Ladbroke Grove West London on the evening of March 22 2021 according to CCTV footage.
He was dressed entirely in black including a black puffa jacket and carried a black knapsack. Later he was seen on CCTV footage boarding a bus in Ladbroke Grove which brought him to Loughton Essex where he was last seen walking towards Epping Forest.
A nationwide search for Richard was initiated involving the police the general public and volunteers. Richard’s corpse was discovered in Epping Forest on April 5 2021 after a two-week search.
Did Richard Okorogheye Kill Himself? Suicide or Murder
Many questions have been made about whether Richard Okorogheye’s death was a suicide or a murder.
The police originally stated that his death was not suspicious but later stated that they were keeping an open mind. A post-mortem examination was performed but the reason for death was not determined.
The police subsequently stated that Richard’s death was a murder and that a murder investigation had been launched. They stated that they were keeping an open mind about the reason for the murder and that they were investigating multiple avenues.
However, in June 2021, the Police stated that they were no longer investigating Richard’s death as murder and that he had committed suicide.
They stated that there was no evidence of any third-party involvement in his death and that the evidence indicated that he had been in the forest for some time before his corpse was discovered.
Okorogheye Family Rejects Apology From Met Police
In August 2021 the Met Police apologized to Richard’s family for not treating his disappearance as a high-risk missing person investigation from the start.
The Met Police apologized after an independent review of the Police’s handling of Richard’s case discovered that the Police had not followed some of their protocols and guidelines.
The Metropolitan Police apologized to Richard’s family for any shortcomings in the probe in a statement issued on June 11, 2021. The statement admitted that the investigation had fallen short of the “high standards” anticipated by the public and that the police had “let Richard and his family down.”
The statement was followed by an IOPC report which found that the Police had made “no real progress” in the first four days of the inquiry and that there were “shortcomings and gaps” in the Police response.
In a statement published on June 14, 2021, Richard’s family rejected the apology saying it was too late.