Superintendent Danny Gosling, who is leading the investigation, said: "Yesterday afternoon we were informed by colleagues from Essex Police that a body had been found in a lake in Epping Forest.
"While we wait for formal identification, we have spoken to Richard Okorogheye’s family to update them with this latest development. Our specially trained officers continue to support them as they have done throughout.
"Our officers, with the assistance from specialist search teams, dogs and horses, and colleagues from Essex Police, have been carrying out extensive searches in Epping Forest since 19-year-old Richard was last seen on CCTV in the area 15 days ago.
"The post mortem will take place in due course and we await formal identification.
"This is an extensive enquiry and we are working tirelessly to establish the full circumstances. The forensic, medical and specialist enquiries are ongoing. As part of our investigation we remain in the area to carry out further searches.
"I would like to thank the public for supporting our search for Richard, sharing appeals, checking doorbell and dash cam footage and passing on any information. I continue to urge anyone with information to come forward.
"Lastly, I’d like to sincerely thank the public’s support and patience whilst we continue with our enquiries. I understand there are a number of questions and we are doing all we can to answer them."