The mom has lost hope since she heard that the body that was found matches the description of her son.
For a mother, there is no grief bigger than finding out that your beloved child will never come back, no matter how hard they try. Losing a child can be a chilling experience for a parent, and this loss compares to no other, something the parents of a teen in the UK recently had to come to terms with.
The parents of the missing teenager, Richard Okorogheye, 19, had criticized the police in the UK for not taking their complaint seriously when they reported their son's disappearance. They had not heard from their 19-year-old for more than a week. He had left his home in Ladbroke Grove, west London, at about 8.30 pm on March 22. The Oxford Brookes student has sickle cell disease and had been home isolating during the pandemic. His parents said that it was unlike him to vanish out of the blue.
His parents, Evidence Joel and Newton Okorogheye, went to the police two days after he went missing, according to Metro UK. The couple revealed that the Met officers said they won't consider their son at "high risk" until he was missing for six days.
"I told a police officer that my son was missing, please help me find him, and she said, 'If you can’t find your son, how do you expect police officers to find your son for you?'" said his mom, Evidence, a nurse. "I was expecting assurance. My son was missing and it broke my heart," she added. The nurse also added that her son was struggling to cope with isolating at home and the pressures from the university.
Richard had told his mom that he was going to meet a friend but left without his wallet, jacket, or medication. They also added that their son used to leave home only for getting blood transfusions for his condition. "All he said to me was 'Mummy, I’m going to see my friend.' I trusted him, I had no doubt… I had no reason to ask further questions," she added.
When she returned home from her nursing shift at around 9 pm, she assumed he was in his room. However, he never returned home. His room was locked and when they got a locksmith to open the door, they saw that his bank card and bus pass were there. His friends hadn't heard from him either, which alarmed his parents.
Days later, the police, who had started searching for the missing boy, found a body of a man in Epping Forest, Essex, according to BBC. The police added that they are trying to identify the body. Scotland Yard also added that Richard's family was informed about the discovery. They are being supported by specially trained officers.
Police had previously found that the teen had taken a taxi to a residential street in Loughton, Essex. He was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of March 23. He was seen walking towards Epping Forest. He hadn't used his phone since he went missing. The police had been on their fifth day of the search when they found the body.
"Oh God, they said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out," said Evidence, as per MyLondon. However, no formal identification has been made yet.
The nurse lost hope since the body was found in a pond in the forest. "We thought Richard would be found or would just come home. But he’s not. My baby will never come home to his mummy again. I can’t even describe the feeling. He was taken away from me too early. The only child I have. It’s devastating and the last thing I thought I’d hear," she said, as per MyLondon.
She added that she has no idea why her son would be in Essex as they don't have any family or friends there. She believes he has never been there previously either. She further said that the Easter weekend has been one big ordeal for her family. "This weekend has been a complete nightmare, [I'm] overwhelmed and saddened," she said.
The cause of death hasn't been determined, but police did not find any evidence of physical trauma.
Cover image source: (L) Metropolitan Police (R) Getty Images, Photo by Dan Kitwood