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Investigation launched into Met police actions of missing teenager case

Richard Okorogheye, 19, was found dead earlier this month 

An investigation has been launched into complaints over how the Metropolitan Police handled reports of the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye.

The 19-year-old man was found dead in Epping Forest on Monday, 5 April.

Mr Okorogheye was reported missing from Ladbroke Grove, west London, by his mother, Ms Evidence Joel, on Tuesday, 23 March. 

She made further calls to the police the following day.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct will address complaints made by Richard’s mother about the way in which she was initially treated by the police and how her reports about the disappearance of her son were handled.

Investigations into whether Richard’s or his mother’s ethnicity played a part in the handling of the case will also be a focus.

Additionally, The Met’s overall handling of the missing person report will be examined.

His body was found in a pond in Epping Forest

IOPC Regional Director, Sal Naseem said: “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends and all those affected by this tragic loss. We have spoken to his family and explained our role.

“Our investigation will establish whether the police responded appropriately to the concerns raised that Richard was missing.

“We will examine whether the force appropriately risk assessed those reports, and if the amount of resources the Metropolitan Police dedicated to its enquiries were suitable based on the information known by the police and the risks posed.

“As there is a mandatory requirement for police forces to refer to us incidents which result in a death or serious injury, we will examine the actions and decisions of the police when dealing with the missing person report made in respect of a vulnerable young man.

“We will also consider whether Richard’s or his mother’s ethnicity played a part in the way the initial reports of his disappearance were handled.”

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