‘He’s been struggling to cope’: Mum’s fears for missing son, 19, who has been shielding in Ladbroke Grove

Young people need to get out and ‘break’ these rules – not attack police officers or do it for fun, they need to get out into the world. It is very unhealthy and even at my age I am struggling to get out as much as I can even if it means breaking some of these silly rules because it can be very depressing when you find yourself in tight enclosed spaces inside your apartment/flat.

I really hope Richard is okay and that he gets in touch with his mother soon, full post from mylondon.news website below…

The mum of a missing 19-year-old is incredibly worried about her son as he has gone missing after telling her he was “struggling to cope” with the pressure of university and shielding during lockdown.

Richard Okorogheye has been missing since Monday, March 22 when he told his mum he was going to visit a friend but nobody saw him and he didn’t return home to Ladbroke Grove

He was last seen walking in the area on Kensal Road at 8.40pm.

Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, told My London that Richard has been shielding since March 2020 due to the sickle cell disease he suffers with and in the last year would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions.

Ms Joel fears Richard has become depressed as a result of his shielding and spends many hours a day locked in his room.

She added Richard recently told her he was “struggling to cope” with university where he studies Business and IT at Oxford Brookes, attending virtually.

Richard's mother, Evidence (L) and Richard

“Richard has never done anything like this. Something has gone wrong,” Ms Joel said.

The last thing Richard said to his mum was that he was going to visit a friend. None of Richard’s friends have said they saw him that night.

“The only thing he said to said hes going to his friends house. He told me drive safe and that he would see me later,” Ms Joel said.

When she returned home at 9pm from a nursing shift she thought Richard, who is her only child, was asleep in his room.

She called his phone and received no response but assumed he was in his room as usual.

After making his favourite meal, Ms Joel knocked on Joel’s door and again received no response which caused the alarm.

Calling a locksmith to open Richard’s door she discovered his room empty and that Richard didn’t take his wallet, including his bus pass or bank card.

News that Richard has gone missing has been retweeted on Twitter more than 15,000 times.

The Met Police are investigating Richard’s disappearance but Ms Joel has raised concerns over how seriously officers are taking it.

“Richard is seen as a low risk but he’s a young adult with a health condition,” she said.

Regarding Ms Joel’s concerns, a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said: “There is an active police investigation, and officers are working to find Richard.

They additional requested information regarding his disappearance: “Have you seen Richard Okorogheye last seen in the Ladbroke Grove area? He is also known to frequent Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham.”

Ms Joel said she’s seen CCTV footage of her son walking toward Ladbroke Grove Sainsburys the night he went missing and additionally a message from someone on Twitter saying they saw Richard in Reading, which police are investigating.

“I want to save my baby. H e’s my only baby, he suffers from sickle cell. My son would never behave like this,” Ms Joel said.

If you see Richard please contact 101 and quote 21MIS008134.