Richard Okorogheye, 19, has not been seen by his family since 22 March, when he left their home in Ladbroke Grove.
Officers working on the case searched the forest for five days before finding a body, which is yet to be formally identified, in Wake Valley pond on Monday afternoon.
“Yesterday afternoon we were informed by colleagues from Essex Police that a body had been found in a lake in Epping Forest,” said Superintendent Danny Gosling, who is leading the investigation.
“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.”
Evidence Joel, Richard’s mother, described him as “my moon and sun” in a newspaper interview on Tuesday morning.
“My baby will never come home to his mummy again. I can’t even describe the feeling,” Ms Joel told the Evening Standard.
“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.”
Mr Okorogheye then was seen boarding the number 23 bus in Ladbroke Grove at 8.44pm.
The Met previously said that Mr Okorogheye’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.