The mum of a missing teenager has been tragically told the description of a body found by police “matches” her son.
Evidence Joel said investigators gave her the heartbreaking news tonight, weeks after searches for London student Richard Okorogheye began.
It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced in a statement a body had been found in a pond in Epping Forest, Essex, where the 19-year-old was last seen heading on CCTV last month.
“Oh God, they said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out,” Ms Joel told My London in a highly emotional call.
No formal identification of the body has yet been carried out.
The Met said investigators are working to identify the remains.
Richard’s family are being supported by specially trained officers, after being informed of today’s developments.
Richard left his family home in Ladbroke Grove, Kensington, on March 22 and has not been in contact since.
Police believe the Oxford Brookes university student got on a bus in West London and then took a taxi to Loughton, in Essex.
CCTV captured him walking towards Epping Forest in the early hours of March 23.
Searchers have been scouring woodlands and water in the north-east London area.
The Met said earlier tonight: “This afternoon the Met were informed by colleagues from @EssexPoliceUK that a body had been found in a pond in #EppingForest.
“While enquiries to identify the body continue, the family of missing 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye have been informed.”
Ms Joel previously said waiting for information on her son’s whereabouts has been “hell”.
Richard, who has sickle cell disease, has been isolating during the pandemic and would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.
His mum had said she was worried the current cold weather, which could cause her son substantial pain, was a major concern after he didn’t take a jacket when he left home.
Anyone with information that could assist police officers involved in the search should call 101 quoting 21MIS008134.