Parents of missing teenager Richard Okorogheye who has now been confirmed dead said her concerns over Richard were not taken seriously by police officers at first.
Evidence Joel and Newton Okorogheye said they were not “taken seriously” by the police when they reported their son’s disappearance.
“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?’
“I was expecting assurance. My son was missing and it broke my heart.” Ms Joel said.
Ms Joel also said the police appeared to be “counting the minutes” she was on the line, when she called for updates on his case. “‘Evidence, you have been on the phone for the last 10 minutes. We can’t give you any more information,’” she said they told her.
Richard Okorogheye’s body was found this week in Epping Forest, north of London. Ms Joel has said he seemed to be “struggling to cope” at university.
Although Richard is reported to have sickle cell, he was not considered high-risk until he had been missing for six days.
The 19-year-old, an IT student at Oxford Brookes University had told his mother he was going to see a friend when he left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area on the evening of Monday March 22.
Chief Inspector Clare McCarthy of the Met’s Central West Command Unit said: “Our officers have been working tirelessly to locate Richard, using all investigative opportunities and data enquires, speaking with witnesses and trawling CCTV.
Ms Joel believes her son met someone online who “built his confidence and trust,” “I think he went to meet somebody. Definitely. Richard cannot go there. Especially at that time in the morning… someone was waiting for Richard.” but police are currently treating the death as unexplained. A post-mortem examination found no evidence of physical trauma or assault. Further tests are being carried out to establish the cause of his death.
Meanwhile, the police watchdog is assessing whether the Met needs to be investigated over its handling of the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye.